Wednesday, 16 may 2018, 05:02 , by Matthew Scott
Felipe Massa has confirmed he will continue his motorsport career in Formula E after signing a three-year deal with Venturi, the team partly owned by Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio. The Brazilian left Formula 1 last year after 15 years with Sauber, Ferrari and Williams.
Massa racked up 269 starts in his F1 career, winning 11 grands prix and taking to the podium 41 times in total.
He came agonisingly close to being crowned champion in 2008, only to be denied by Lewis Hamilton on the final lap of the final race of the season at Interlagos.
Massa was unable to agree terms to stay with Williams last year, retiring from F1 for the second year in a row, after Valtteri Bottas' departure to Mercedes had brought him back from his first step away from the sport.
"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."
Venturi entered FE in 2014 and have previously employed former F1 drivers Nick Heidfeld and Jacques Villeneuve. Edoardo Mortara secured a second-place finish, the team's best result in Formula E, at this year's Hong Kong ePrix.
Venturi president Gildo Pastor added: "It's an honour to welcome Felipe to the Venturi family.
"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."