By Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Editor
One year removed from his leave of Formula One, Felipe Massa is set to make the move to the all-electric ABB FIA Formula E Championship.
Venturi Formula E announced Tuesday that Massa, 37, will join their driver lineup for Season Five after signing a three-year deal with the team.
“I’m very happy to be joining the Venturi Formula E Team and the Formula E championship, which has become a magnificent competition in such a short space of time,” Massa said.
“For some years now, I’ve been clear about my interest in this innovative, forward-looking discipline that’s developing exponentially. I especially like the format of race meetings, the city-centre circuits and the contact with the fans. I can’t wait to take part in testing at the end of the month.”
Massa is a veteran of F1, having made 269 starts in the FIA’s premier series over the course of a 15-year-career. The Brazilian tallied 11 victories, 41 podiums and 16 poles during of his tenure, with starts for Sauber (2002, 2004–2005), Ferrari (2006–2013) and Williams (2014–2017).
The veteran’s first Formula E experience came when he attended the Rome E-Prix in April.
“It’s an honour to welcome Felipe to the Venturi family,” Gildo Pastor, president of Venturi Automobiles and the Venturi Formula E Team, said. “I needed him, his experience, his speed, and his openness. Formula E is extremely complex to set up and drive.
“Even more so than in other disciplines, teamwork between the driver and the engineering team is one of the keys to success. Felipe’s 15 years’ experience in Formula 1 will definitely give us a boost. And with his humble nature, I know he will listen to the team and master the discipline quickly.”
Massa should get a chance to complete his first drive in a Formula E car quickly. The Gen2 Venturi VFE 05 is expected to begin testing by the end of May.