|Founded||Claude Poiraud; Gérard Godfroy (1984)|
|Key People||Gildo Pallanca Pastor (Owner and C.E.O.)|
|Formula E Record|
|Début||2015 Beijing ePrix|
|Total Entries||47 (47 Starts)|
|Total Points||268 (312)|
|Team(s)|| Venturi Formula E Team|
HWA Team (for 2018/19)
Venturi Automobiles, better known simply as Venturi, is a Monegasque automotive manufacturer, based in Fontvieille, Monaco, which has specialised in electric vehicles since 2000. Originally founded in 1984 as MVS (Manufacture de Voitures de Sport), Venturi have been an official powertrain manufacturer for the ABB FIA Formula E Championship since the 2015/16 season, having entered their own team, the Venturi Formula E Team, since the series' inception.
Founded in 1984 by French engineer Claude Poiraud and designer Gérard Godfroy, Manufacture de Voitures de Sport, otherwise known as MVS, sought to make a name for itself in the "gran turismo" field, hoping to take on established brands such as Aston Martin, Ferrari and Porsche. Their first concept car, the MVS Venturi, was displayed at the Paris Motor Show later that year, although there would be several generations before the design entered production in 1987. By 1991 MVS had sold enough Venturis to effectively become known as Venturi, before following the footsteps of Ligier by becoming a "constructor" in the FIA Formula One World Championship in 1992.
Drive, Dive and Rise
In truth the "Venturi" effort in Formula One was little more than a sponsorship deal, with Larrouse in the UK actually building and running the cars. The relationship broke down at the end of the season, although MVS continued to campaign in motorsport in other championships, including the soon to boom GT1 series. This culminated in two visits to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1993 and 1995, which saw Venturi perform admirably against the likes of Ferrari and Porsche.
However, by the end of 1990s, sales of MVS' GT cars were slowing, ultimately causing the firm to declare bankruptcy in 2000. The entire company, and outstanding debts, were then acquired by Monegasque businessman Gildo Pallanca Pastor, who moved the company to Monaco and changed the name to Venturi, before changing their focus to electric vehicles. This re-focus resulted in the creation of the "Fetish", launched at the Paris Motor Show in 2004, which became the first fully electric sports car.
Records and Concepts
After the successful debut of the "Fetish", Venturi decided to stay in the realm of electric vehicles, producing numerous concept cars based on various renewable energies. This resulted in the firm winning a tender, with Peugeot-Citroën to build 250 electric vans for the French postal service in 2009. This was followed by a programme to set a new land-speed record for an electric vehicle, a feat finally achieved in 2015 with the Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3, which hit 386.757 kph (240.320 mph).
Formula E History
Given their history there was little surprise that Venturi would take an interest in the new FIA Formula E Championship, duly founding their own team for the series' inaugural 2014/15 season. This new team, the Venturi Formula E Team, would use the Spark-Renault SRT_01E like everyone else during the inaugural season, with Nick Heidfeld and Stéphane Sarrazin contracted to drive. Regardless, the team would come within seconds of winning the first ever ePrix in Beijing, only for Heidfeld to be wiped out by Nicolas Prost at the final corner.
Power and Customers
The rest of the inaugural season was somewhat less spectacular for Venturi, although the Monegasque squad would get their powertrain design homologated for the 2015/16 season. Their car, now called the VM200-FE-01, would use the SRT_01E as a basis, with the Venturi Automobiles powertrain installed within. Four examples, with spares, were built for the factory team, which fielded Jacques Villeneuve alongside Sarrazin, while an additional quartet were sold to Dragon Racing.
Ultimately, it would be the customers who beat the factory team to victory, with Jérôme d'Ambrosio inheriting victory at the 2016 Mexico City ePrix for Dragon. The American squad would also take two pole positions due to the efforts of the Belgian, while Sarrazin earned a lone visit to the podium in Long Beach. Come the end of the season, however, Dragon had sourced their own powertrain manufacturer, leaving Venturi to supply themselves for 2016/17.
Venturi's second season building powertrains would be less successful, with no visits to the podium and a run of retirements for new driver Maro Engel. Indeed, the German's arrival as a factory Mercedes driver put the future of Venturi's powertrains into doubt, although Mercedes would only agree to join the series in 2019/20 at the end of the 2016/17 season. Regardless, Venturi's seeming lean towards the "three pointed star" would continue on into 2017/18, with Edoardo Mortara joining the team, as well as a number of staff from long-time Mercedes privateers HWA.
Venturi made their first powertrain for the 2015/16 season, which was the first in FE's history to feature customised powertrains. The Monegasque firm would continue to develop their designs into seasons three and four, and have had their design homologated for 2018/19.
Videos and Images:
- 'History', venturi.com, (Venturi Automobiles, 2018), https://www.venturi.com/history-of-venture-automobiles-electric-vehicles-manufacturer/, (Accessed 24/05/2018)
- 'FIA homologates manufacturers for second Formula E season', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 03/08/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/august/fia-homologates-manufacturers-for-second-formula-e-season.aspx, (Accessed 03/08/2015)
- 'Nick Heidfeld & Stéphane Sarrazin to drive for Venturi in Formula E', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 26/06/2014), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2014/june/nick-heidfeld-stephane-sarrazin-to-drive-for-venturi-in-formula-e.aspx, (Accessed 30/04/2015)
- 'di Grassi snatches win after dramatic last corner crash', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 13/09/2014), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2014/september/lucas-di-grassi-snatches-win-after-dramatic-last-corner-crash.aspx, (Accessed 25/04/2015)
- 'Jacques Villeneuve signs for Venturi alongside Sarrazin', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 08/08/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/august/jacques-villeneuve-signs-for-venturi-alongside-sarraz.aspx, (Accessed 08/08/2015)
- 'Di Grassi stripped of Mexico win', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 12/03/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/march/di-grassi-stripped-of-mexico-win.aspx, (Accessed 13/03/2016)
- 'Di Grassi's Shoreline sensation', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 02/04/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/april/di-grassi-s-shoreline-sensation/, (Accessed 03/04/2016)
- 'TEN TEAMS ENTERED FOR THE 2016-17 FIA FORMULA E CHAMPIONSHIP', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 01/07/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/july/ten-teams-entered-for-the-2016-17-fia-formula-e-championship/, (Accessed 08/07/2016)
- 'MARO ENGEL JOINS VENTURI FORMULA E TEAM: VENTURI LINE UP CONFIRMED FOR SEASON THREE', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 08/08/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/august/maro-engel-joins-venturi-formula-e-team/, (Accessed 09/08/2016)
- 'Mercedes-Benz to enter Formula E in Season 6', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 24/07/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/july/mercedes-benz-to-enter-formula-e-in-season-6/, (Accessed 25/07/2017)
- 'Mortara and Engel confirmed at Venturi', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 20/10/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/october/mortara-and-engel-confirmed-at-venturi/, (Accessed 20/10/2017)
- 'Venturi announce partnership with HWA AG', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 30/11/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/november/venturi-announce-partnership-with-hwa-ag/, (Accessed 24/05/2018)
- 'HWA AG join the Formula E grid for Season 5', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 09/05/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/may/hwa-ag-join-the-formula-e-grid-for-season-5/, (Accessed 09/05/2018)
- 'Nine manufacturers homologated for Season 5', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 21/03/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/march/nine-season-5-powertrain-manufacturers-homologated/, (Accessed 24/05/2018)
- '10kW power hike for Season 4', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 31/08/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/august/10kw-power-hike-for-season-4/, (Accessed 31/08/2017)