|Venturi Formula E Team|
|Based||Monte Carlo, Monaco|
|Début||2014 Beijing ePrix|
|Founder||Leonardo DiCaprio; Gildo Pallanca Pastor; Francesco Costa; Bert Hedaya|
|Driver(s)|| Edoardo Mortara (No. 48)|
Lucas di Grassi (No. 11)
|Car||Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02|
|Last Season||7th (146 pt(s))|
|First Win||2019 Hong Kong E-Prix|
|Titles||0 (6th 2015/16)|
|Entrant||ROKiT Venturi Racing|
|Edoardo Mortara||Lucas di Grassi|
|3rd (114 Pt(s))||9th (55 Pt(s))|
|3rd (169 Pt(s))|
The ROKiT Venturi Racing, formally known as the Venturi Formula E Team are an entrant in the 2019/20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship, which previously raced as the factory team for Venturi Automobiles. One of the Series' founding members, Venturi are the only team based in Monaco, and have featured in every edition of the FE Series.
A very well respected, if unspectacular, team in FE, Venturi have had a close association with Mercedes, having supported several Mercedes backed drivers and partnered with HWA in 2017/18. Furthermore, Susie Wolff, wife of Formula One Mercedes GP boss Toto Wolff, became team principle and a major investor ahead of the 2018/19 season, while the team also secured the services of ex-Formula One star Felipe Massa.
2018/19 saw Venturi claim their maiden victory at the 2019 Hong Kong E-Prix courtesy of Edoardo Mortara, although otherwise endured a fairly dismal campaign. That, ultimately, prompted Venturi to become a customer team for 2019/20, ending a four year partnership with ZF, buying two powertrains from their associates Mercedes.
The Venturi Formula E Team was founded in Monaco by DiCaprio, Gildo Pallanca Pastor, Francesco Costa, Bert Hedaya, with the aim of bringing Venturi Automobiles' experience in building the current record holder in the Bonneville Salt Flats for an electric car. Venturi intend to become a manufacturer in the championship from the second season onwards.
Formula E History
Venturi were the only Monaco based team to be entered for the inaugural season, with Nick Heidfeld and Stéphane Sarrazin as their drivers for the year. The team ran four Spark-Renault SRT_01Es for their drivers, although the pair suffered their fair amount of misfortune throughout the season. A strong start looked to be on the cards for Heidfeld right from the get go, until the German was taken out by Nicolas Prost at the season opening 2014 Beijing ePrix in a move that could have given him victory.
Heidfeld often found himself on the wrong side of penalties throughout the season too, losing out while leading the 2015 Buenos Aires ePrix because of a pitlane infringement. Sarrazin, meanwhile, proved to be a semi-consistent point scorer, albeit at the lower end of the points, until Venturi's fortunes seemingly turned in Moscow. Heidfeld finally took a podium finish that his pace had arguably earned him throughout the season, although their moment in the sun was brief.
The London double header that ended the season rather summed up their season, although the driver's respective roles were reversed. For Heidfeld, missing out on points and a retirement were his return, while Sarrazin was penalised for using too much energy, having crossed the line first in the season ending 2015 London ePrix II.
For the 2015/16 season, Sarrazin would be retain by the team, who also made headlines by signing 1997 Formula One world champion Jacques Villeneuve, who replaced an outgoing Nick Heidfeld. Owners Venturi Automobiles also announced that they would be supplying powertrains to Dragon Racing, leading to an intense intra-team battle between the Monegasques and the Americans. The first blows would be exchanged at the 2015 Donington Test, with the American squad ending the test period as the faster of the two teams.
It would still be advantage Dragon at the first race of the season, with Venturi only managing to grab ninth place courtesy of Sarrazin. The Frenchman then put together a strong display to take fourth in Putrajaya, before again ending up in ninth at the 2015 Punta del Este ePrix. It was in Punta del Este where Villeneuve decided to quit the team, the Canadian believing he was wasting his time sitting at the back of the field, with Venturi calling upon Mike Conway to fill their second seat.
It would be a slow start for Conway who, like Villenuve before him, failed to record points as Sarrazin continued his pattern of ninth-fourth-ninth finishes. Then the Frenchman put together one of the best performances of the season to claim second at the 2016 Long Beach ePrix, although this result was overshadowed by the fact that Dragon racing had won the previous round in 2016 Mexico City ePrix. Conway also forced himself onto the board in Long Beach, as Venturi tried to propel themselves into the top half of the table before the end of the season.
Unfortunately for the Monte Carlo squad, the rest of the season would only see a minor return of points, with Sarrazin often slipping back from strong starting positions. Conway, meanwhile, could only extract two more points finishes before the end of the season, and come seasons end Venturi were down in sixth, with almost half the number of points of "sister" team Dragon.
The 2016/17 season saw Venturi obtain greater funding through a German backer, prompting the team to replace Conway with experienced GT racer Maro Engel. They also became the only team supplied by their owners, with the new car making its public bow at the 2016 Donington Test. Unfortunately, although the car was an improvement on the previous season's effort, both Sarrazin and Engel found themselves in the lower reaches of the field on outright pace.
For 2017/18 Venturi would retain Engel, partnering him and 2010 European Formula 3 Champion and seven time Macau Grand Prix winner Edoardo Mortara. The later's inclusion in the Venturi team came as part of a step-up of interest by Mercedes, with the Italian/Swiss racer continuing to race with the "three pointed star" in the DTM in 2018. Furthermore, Mercedes would arrange that their affiliate DTM race team, HWA, would work alongside Venturi in 2017/18, ahead of their debut in 2018/19.
After a quiet pre-season test in Valencia, Mortara would cause a stir at the opening round in Hong Kong, leading the majority of the second race only to throw away victory while chasing fastest lap. The Swiss racer did manage to recover to claim second, recording Venturi's best ever FE finish, while Engel backed him up with a seventh place finish. Unfortunately for them the team would not hit the same heights in Marrakech, with a pointless weekend resulting as both Mortara and Engel made mistakes in qualifying.
Unsurprisingly, given their Mercedes connections, the Venturi team handed Mercedes DTM racer Gary Paffett a drive at the 2018 Rookie Test, alongside Moroccan born racer Michael Benyahia. Engel and Mortara then returned to action in Santiago, although another pointless weekend would see Engel retire. Indeed, the following races would see Venturi only manage to pick up a handful of points, before Engel found some pace to finish fourth at the 2018 Paris E-Prix.
Ahead of the 2018 Berlin E-Prix it was announced that Tom Dillmann would be standing in for Mortara, whose talent's were required in the DTM for Mercedes. Yet it would be a pointless return for Dillmann, with the Frenchman thoroughly out-paced by Engel, with Mortara returning for his home race in Zürich. Unfortunately for Mortara it would be a miserable home race as he retired early on with a suspension failure, while Engel missed out on points during the late race confusion following a FCY.
Heading into the 2017/18 season finale in New York City Venturi would announce a reshuffle of their leadership team, with ex-DTM racer Susie Wolff announced as team principle. Wolff's arrival was not immediate, however, with the Scotswoman only sitting in with the team during the New York weekend. Furthermore the team would be without Mortara for the weekend, with the Swiss racer deciding to focus on his DTM programme rather than battle to finish in the top ten in FE.
Dillmann therefore returned for the season finale, and duly stunned his potential future employers by finishing fourth in the first race, matching his best ever finish. Engel, meanwhile, would play a pivitol role in the Championship by fending off Sam Bird in the closing stages, meaning the Brit would lose out on the title to Jean-Éric Vergne. Unfortunately for Venturi their two drivers would both retire from the final race of the season, having struggled in a wet qualifying session.
Viva Brazil: 2018/19
2018/19 would be an evolutionary season for Venturi, with a new team principle in the form of Susie Wolff, and the addition of veteran racer Felipe Massa to their driver line-up. He would subsequently be joined by a returning Mortara, a refugee from Mercedes' then defunct DTM programme, with the pair performing admirably during the 2018 Valencia Test. Furthermore, parent company Venturi Automobiles would be supplying a sister team, with HWA Racelab joining the series as an eleventh team.
A quiet start to the season saw both Massa and Mortara fail to threaten the points in either Ad Diriyah nor Marrakech, although both would battle hard in both E-Prix. Indeed, Mortara finally got a breakthrough in Santiago as he fought his way to fourth for his first points of the campaign, narrowly missing out on a podium after a late fight with Daniel Abt. The Swiss racer duly claimed his first podium in a year at the following race in Mexico City, having been heavily involved in the last lap fight for victory between Pascal Wehrlein, Lucas di Grassi and António Félix da Costa.
What followed would be Venturi's best weekend of the season, if not their entire time in FE to that point, with Mortara ultimately claiming their maiden FE victory at the 2019 Hong Kong E-Prix. Indeed, having fought to hold onto a podium place throughout, Mortara would subsequently be handed victory when Sam Bird hit the back of André Lotterer on the final lap, and duly earned himself a post-race penalty. Massa, meanwhile, would also benefit to claim fifth and hence his second points score of the season, with Venturi finally claiming a win in FE's 50th race.
However, that would be Mortara's last points finish of the season, with the Swiss racer entering a miserable run of eight non-scores, including six retirements. The majority of those DNFs would be courtesy of accident damage, although Mortara would also suffer from several drive-shaft failures, a flaw in the Venturi powertrain design. Massa, meanwhile, would take over as the team's main point scorer, and duly claimed his first podium on "home soil" as he battled to third in Monte Carlo, fending off a challenge from Pascal Wehrlein.
Come the end of what would ultimately be a disappointing campaign, Venturi had slipped to eighth in the Championship with 88 points, just ahead of sister team HWA.
Mercedes Mercy?: 2019/20
As a result of their poor end to 2018/19 there were some major changes to the Venturi team for the 2019/20 season, with the squad ultimately deciding to end their in-house powertrain development with ZF. That partnership was replaced by a customer powertrain deal with the new Mercedes-Benz squad, with factory Mercedes GT driver Mortara retained to partner Massa once again. The new Venturi-Mercedes partnership proved to be fairly competitive in the 2019 Valencia Test ahead of the season, with both Massa and Mortara out-pacing the two factory cars. In November 2019, prior to the Ad Diriyah E-Prix, Venturi signed a multi-year deal with the ROKiT group to be the team's new title sponsor.
Venturi Next Gen Programme
During the 2017/18 season the Venturi team launched their "Next Gen Programme", essentially a young driver academy aimed at getting young drivers into Formula E. Established on the 3 March 2018, the "Next Gen Programme" signed several promising young talents including Arthur Leclerc and Dorian Boccolacci, both race winners in junior formulae. The programme also included a number of eSports champions and young karters, with all members getting time in the Venturi simulator as well as their physical and mental training facilities.
Formula E Record
The tables below show Venturi Formula E Team's full record in the FIA Formula E Championship.
Formula E Entries
The table below gives an overview of Venturi Formula E Team's entries in Formula E:
|Venturi Formula E Team's overall Formula E Record|
|Season||Official name||No.||Drivers||DC Pos.||DC Pts.||Car||TC Pos.||TC Pts.|
|2014/15||Venturi Formula E Team||23||Nick Heidfeld||12th||31||Spark-Renault SRT_01E||9th||53|
|2015/16||Venturi Formula E Team||4||Stéphane Sarrazin||6th||70||Venturi VM200-FE-01||6th||77|
|2016/17||Venturi Formula E Team||4*||Stéphane Sarrazin||10th||36||Venturi VM200-FE-02||9th||29|
|2017/18||Venturi Formula E Team||4||Edoardo Mortara||13th||29||Venturi VM200-FE-03||7th||72|
|2018/19||Venturi Formula E Team||19||Felipe Massa||15th||36||Venturi VFE 05||8th||88|
|2019/20||ROKiT Venturi Racing||19||Felipe Massa||22nd||3||Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow 01||10th||44|
|2020/21||ROKiT Venturi Racing||48||Edoardo Mortara||2nd||92||Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02||7th||146|
|2021/22||ROKiT Venturi Racing||48||Edoardo Mortara||3rd||114||Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02||3rd||169|
|11||Lucas di Grassi||9th||55|
- * Sarrazin raced for Techeetah from the 2017 Berlin ePrix I onwards.
- † Dillmann used #5 as his race number at the 2017 Paris ePrix.
Listed below are the full career results of Venturi Formula E Team:
|FIA Formula E Championship Record|
|3rd||Third||DNS||Did Not Start|
|7th||Points Finish||16th||Non-Points Finish|
|NC||Not Classified||CAN||Race Cancelled|
|INJ||Driver Injured||Italics||Fastest Lap|
|Bold||Pole Position||G||Group Fastest Lap|
Videos and Images:
- Alex Kalinauckas, 'Venturi switches to Mercedes powertrain, retains drivers', motorsport.com, (Motorsport Network, 03/10/2019), https://www.motorsport.com/formula-e/news/venturi-mercedes-powertrain-massa-mortara/4552030/, (Accessed 03/10/2019)
- 'Teams: Venturi', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 2015), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/teams/venturi.aspx, (Accessed 18/07/2015)
- Topher Smith, 'SARRAZIN STAYS AT VENTURI FOR SEASON THREE', e-racing.net, (e-Racing, 07/07/2016), http://www.e-racing.net/2016/07/07/sarrazin-stays-at-venturi-for-season-three/, (Accessed 08/07/2016)
- '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 02/07/2018)
- 'Susie Wolff becomes Team Principal and shareholder of Venturi Formula E Team', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 26/06/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/june/susie-wolff-becomes-team-principal-and-shareholder-of-venturi-formula-e-team/, (Accessed 26/06/2018)
- 'Felipe Massa joins Venturi driver line up for Season 5', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 15/05/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/may/felipe-massa-joins-venturi-driver-line-up-for-season-5/, (Accessed 02/07/2018)
- 'Bird victorious in furious battle for first on Hong Kong Harbourfront', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 10/03/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/march/race-report-hong-kong-2019, (Accessed 11/03/2019)
- '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)
- 'Lucas 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 30/04/2015)
- 'Da Costa wins spectacular Buenos Aires ePrix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 10/01/2015), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/january/antonio-felix-da-costa-wins-chaotic-buenos-aires-eprix.aspx, (Accessed 30/04/2015)
- 'Piquet masters Moscow', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 30/06/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/june/piquet-increases-lead-in-championship-with-moscow-win.aspx, (Accessed 09/06/2015)
- 'Bird hails ‘unbelievable’ end to season', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 28/06/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/june/bird-hails-unbelievable-end-to-season.aspx, (Accessed 30/06/2015)
- '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)
- 'Buemi to the max in Beijing', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 24/10/2015),http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/october/buemi-wins-swusp-beijing-eprix.aspx, (Accessed 25/10/2015)
- 'Di Grassi keeps his cool to win in Putrajaya', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 07/11/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/november/di-grassi-keeps-his-cool-to-win-in-putrajaya.aspx, (Accessed 22/11/2015)
- 'Conway to race for Venturi in Argentina', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 22/01/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/january/mike-conway-to-race-for-venturi-in-buenos-aires.aspx, (Accessed 23/01/2016)
- '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)
- 'Venturi announce partnership with HWA AG', fiaformulae.com, (ABB FIA Formula E 30/11/2017), https://formula-e.wikia.com/wiki/Venturi_Formula_E_Team?action=edit§ion=1, (Accessed 02/07/2018)
- '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)
- 'Many happy returns: Abt sails to victory in Hong Kong harbour', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 03/12/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/december/many-happy-returns-abt-sails-to-victory-in-hong-kong-harbour/, (Accessed 03/12/2017)
- 'Rosenqvist victorious in 2018 ABB FIA Formula E Marrakesh E-Prix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 13/01/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/january/rosenqvist-victorious-in-2018-abb-fia-formula-e-marrakesh-e-prix/, (Accessed 13/01/2018)
- 'Formula E rookie test driver line-up revealed', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 04/01/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/january/formula-e-rookie-test-driver-line-up-revealed/, (Accessed 04/01/2018)
- 'Vergne steals the show in epic Santiago E-Prix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 03/02/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/february/vergne-steals-the-show-in-epic-santiago-e-prix/, (Accessed 03/02/2018)
- 'Fairytale ending for home race hero Vergne in Paris', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 28/04/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/april/fairytale-ending-for-home-race-hero-vergne-in-paris/, (Accessed 29/04/2018)
- 'Tom Dillmann to replace Mortara in Berlin', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 30/04/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/april/tom-dillmann-to-replace-mortara-in-berlin/, (Accessed 30/04/2018)
- 'Di Grassi clinches first season victory in historic Swiss race', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 10/06/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/june/di-grassi-clinches-first-season-victory-in-historic-swiss-race/, (Accessed 11/06/2018)
- 'Di Grassi victorious as Vergne clinches championship crown', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 14/07/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/july/di-grassi-victorious-as-vergne-clinches-championship-crown/, (Accessed 15/07/2018)
- 'Champion Vergne victorious as Audi scoops the teams' title in New York finale', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 15/07/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/july/champion-vergne-victorious-as-audi-scoops-the-teams-title-in-new-york-finale/, (Accessed 16/07/2018)
- 'Mortara to race alongside Massa at VENTURI', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 11/09/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/september/mortara-to-race-alongside-massa-at-venturi/, (Accessed 11/09/2018)
- 'Mahindra's d'Ambrosio made up with manic win in Marrakesh', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 12/01/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/january/race-report---2019-marrakesh, (Accessed 12/01/2019)
- 'Bird storms to victory in sweltering Santiago showdown', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 26/01/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/january/race-report-santiago-2019, (Accessed 27/01/2019)
- 'Madness in Mexico sees di Grassi clinch miraculous win in epic photo finish', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 16/02/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/february/race-report-mexico-2019, (Accessed 17/02/2019)
- 'Frijns wins while Vergne claims historic two-time Championship title in New York', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 14/07/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/july/race-report-nyc-2-2019, (Accessed 15/07/2019)
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- 'Vergne masters Monaco while Massa claims maiden Formula E podium ', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 11/05/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/may/race-report-monaco-2019, (Accessed 12/05/2019)
- Sam Smith, 'Formula E: Guenther Sets Fastest Lap of Valencia Testing', e-racing365.com, (John Dagys Media, LLC., 18/10/2019), https://e-racing365.com/formula-e/guenther-sets-fastest-lap-of-valencia-testing/, (Accessed 22/10/2019)
- Sam Smith, 'ROKiT Signs Multi-Year Title Deal with Venturi Racing', e-racing365.com, (John Dagys Media, LLC., 21/11/2019), https://e-racing365.com/formula-e/rokit-signs-multi-year-title-deal-with-venturi-racing/, (Accessed 21/11/2019)
- 'Venturi establish the first academy for electric motorsport drivers', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 29/03/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/march/venturi-establish-the-first-academy-for-electric-motorsport-drivers/, (Accessed 03/08/2018)
- 'Nine manufacturers homologated for Season 5', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 21/03/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/march/nine-season-5-powertrain-manufacturers-homologated/, (Accessed 22/03/2017)