RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - SEPTEMBER 25: (l-r) Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Formula E, Susie Wolff, Venturi Team Principal and major shareholder, Felipe Massa, Team Venturi driver, His Excellency Eng. Saleh Nasser Al-Jasser, Saudi Arabian Airlines Director General and Andre Lotterer, DS TECHEETAH team driver pose with the Gen2 Formula E car, at the Ad Diriyah UNESCO Heritage site Saudi Arabia ahead of the Season 5 Opening race The ABB FIA Formula E Championship on September 25, 2018 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabi (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)

Venturi Formula E has added their final piece to the puzzle ahead of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. Edoardo Mortara will be retained as Felipe Massa’s teammate for season five with Venturi Formula E. It should be expected that they move up the grid compared to their performance in previous seasons. The addition of Susie Wolff as Team Principal of Venturi Formula E should improve these chances. Let’s do a general overview of the team as to why they can improve from previous seasons.

New Additions to Push Venturi Formula E to Success?

A Lackluster Start

Although Venturi Formula E team are a manufacturer team, they haven’t had much success. Through the completion of four seasons, the Monaco-based team has only secured three podium finishes from 45 E-Prix starts. Also, they have only secured one Pole position and have led only 80 laps through that time span. Despite not having great results in Formula E, they can create a fast-electric car. In 2016, Venturi’s VBB-3 ‘bullet car’ set a new world record of 341 miles per hour on the salt flats in Utah, USA to become the world’s fastest electric vehicle.

The Drivers

The addition of former Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa will definitely increase Venturi’s chances at better results. The Brazilian looks forward to season five and was happy to join a team that are in a phase of growth and development.

“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.
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-center circuits and the contact with the fans. The team is in a phase of growth and development. I’ll do everything I can to contribute to the project and hopefully, I’ll be among the front-runners”, said Felipe Massa.

Massa’s Teammate

Massa’s teammate, Edoardo Mortara will not be easy to compete against. Mortara has won the Macau Grand Prix on multiple occasions and has proven to be a solid street circuit specialist. Although this will be the Swiss driver’s second year with the Venturi Formula E, he has shown promise in his first year. Mortara’s best Formula E result was Hong Kong Round 2. The Swiss driver almost got his first win at his second race in the series, but made a mistake and fought his way to finish second.

That was the best result for the team for the whole year, unfortunately. It all came downhill for the team and Mortara. The Swiss driver only scored points on two separate occasions after Hong Kong. He barely lost to his teammate Maro Engel who scored 31 points compared to Mortara’s 29 points. Engel should have won by a larger margin considering Mortara missed the last four rounds of the year due to DTM conflicts.

New Team Principal

Venturi Formula E have brought in a new team principal in Susie Wolff. She was a test and development driver for the Williams Formula 1 squad. Wolff earned the seat after racing in DTM between 2006 and 2012. The British driver retired at the end of 2015.

After she retired, she had to remain involved in racing in some capacity. When she was interviewed at her announcement, Wolff said: “I took time to carefully decide the right direction for that challenge. I have now found the perfect next step, with the opportunity to become both a shareholder and team principal of Venturi Formula E team.

“I’m really looking forward to working with Gildo [Pastor, Venturi CEO and founder], who is rightly recognized as a pioneer in electric automobiles and who saw the potential of the series from the very beginning.

“Formula E is the perfect environment for this step into team management: it is full of potential, breaking the mold for traditional racing series, and the series is enjoying an exciting phase of expansion at the moment.”

The Last Word

Will the updated driver lineup under the leadership of Susie Wolff be enough? Can Venturi Formula E be a front-runner in the upcoming season? Can their powertrain design for the Gen2 car compete against the ten other teams?

The first race of season five of the Formula E Championship will be the 2018 Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix. It will take place on December 15, 2018, in Saudi Arabia.

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