Di Grassi joins Venturi Formula E squad alongside Mortara

Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi has been unveiled as a Venturi Racing driver, alongside 2021 points runner-up Edoardo Mortara, in his first move since Audi quit the championship.

Di Grassi’s switch to the Mercedes powertrain customer squad, with both parties based in Monaco, leaves Berlin E-Prix race winner Norman Nato out of a drive after his rookie year.

However, it will ensure that 2016-17 title winner di Grassi remains with Jaguar Racing driver Sam Bird as having contested every one of the 84 races in the championship’s history.

Di Grassi insisted he would stay in Formula E beyond the exit of Audi, but his chances took a blow when Abt’s plan to take over the manufacturer's entry was kiboshed after a commercial deal fell apart.

His representatives opened talks with several teams, including Andretti Autosport, before di Grassi entered the frame to replace under pressure Nato, as first reported by Autosport last month.

Di Grassi said: “Anyone who knows me knows how competitive I am.

“Driving for a team that I know can fight at the front and really challenge for the championship is essential for me.

“[Venturi] performed very, very well last season [finishing seventh in the standings].

“You can see that the team has progressed a lot in recent years.

“The momentum is really there, and they have shown clear improvements in every area.

“Edo had a fantastic season, really strong, he was fighting for the title until the very end and there were many times over the season that I was racing both Venturi cars and I could see how competitive they were.”

Lucas di Grassi, Venturi Racing

Lucas di Grassi, Venturi Racing

Photo by: Venturi

Although no details have been publicly disclosed about the length of di Grassi’s contract, it is likely to be only a one-year agreement initially.

Should Abt assemble an entry in time for the Gen3 era beginning in 2022-23, di Grassi would likely return.

Nato is yet to agree a deal to resume his previous role as Venturi’s reserve driver, but team principal Susie Wolff says she has given him permission to enter talks with other outfits.

Read Also:

His win at Tempelhof Airport came too late last season to save his seat as the double title-winning Mercedes customer powertrain made Venturi Racing an increasingly appealing prospect for drivers.

Wolff added: “Last season we demonstrated that we have a strong package.

“There were many highlights throughout the season starting with a podium and finishing with a win.

“Edo showcased to everyone what we have known all along - that he’s a world championship contender.

“[He and Lucas] will push each other and drive us forward as a team.

“To have both cars scoring points in every race is essential for us for the teams’ championship and with our new driver line-up, there’s a lot to feel optimistic about.”

shares
comments

Related video

Mahindra: Rowland's form against Buemi key to FE driver choice
Previous article

Mahindra: Rowland's form against Buemi key to FE driver choice

Next article

The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep its original missionary winning

The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep its original missionary winning
The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2021-22 Plus

The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2021-22

After a wild 2020-21 season, this year's Formula E campaign had a much stronger narrative to it, but ended with the same result as a driver from the Silver Arrows squad triumphed. Here's our guide to those who shone brightest during the campaign

Formula E
Oct 1, 2022
The trait Vandoorne rediscovered to claim Formula E's era-ending title Plus

The trait Vandoorne rediscovered to claim Formula E's era-ending title

After Nyck de Vries was crowned Formula E champion in 2021, his Mercedes team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne stepped forward this season as the Gen2 era and his team bowed out. As he did on the way to the GP2 crown in 2015, the Belgian achieved a peerless level of consistency and was only outside the points once, with his sole win in Monaco sufficient to head off a chasing pack headed by Mitch Evans

Formula E
Sep 19, 2022
Why Bird can bounce back after a tough 2021-22 Formula E season Plus

Why Bird can bounce back after a tough 2021-22 Formula E season

With his winning streak coming to an end this season, the 2021-22 Formula E season was tumultuous for Sam Bird, failing to gather momentum as Jaguar generally struggled. But the long-term favourite looks forward to bouncing back next season as the championship enters its new era

Formula E
Aug 30, 2022
What Formula E needs next after saying goodbye to Gen2 Plus

What Formula E needs next after saying goodbye to Gen2

The 2021-2022 Formula E season finale brought the curtain down on the Gen2 era of the all-electric world championship. It elevated FE to new heights, fulfilling its intended directive. While it is a good launching pad for the impending Gen3 cycle, there are certain aspects the series must tackle for the new era to have the same impact as its predecessor

Formula E
Aug 16, 2022
The traits behind Vandoorne's triumphant Formula E title charge Plus

The traits behind Vandoorne's triumphant Formula E title charge

The odds were heavily stacked in Stoffel Vandoorne’s favour to capture the Formula E crown at the Seoul finale, but chief rival Mitch Evans applied maximum pressure with victory in the first race. It meant Vandoorne had to show his resolve to reproduce the key qualities he held all season to complete his march to the title

Formula E
Aug 15, 2022
Can anyone beat Stoffel Vandoorne to the Formula E title? Plus

Can anyone beat Stoffel Vandoorne to the Formula E title?

Stoffel Vandoorne is on the brink of the Formula E title with a commanding lead ahead of the Seoul finale, but both rivals and unknowns still stand in his way. Here’s a run through of what Vandoorne must overcome to clinch the championship and how his competition will look to pull off the biggest of shocks

Formula E
Aug 10, 2022
How Formula E's most underrated driver is taming his Dragon Plus

How Formula E's most underrated driver is taming his Dragon

It might not look like the most glittering of Formula E campaigns, but Dragon Penske’s youngster has caught the eye of those who count despite his future remaining unclear. Regardless of the distortion, Sergio Sette Camara has a clear vision of what he’s focused on and how to get there

Formula E
Aug 4, 2022
How Formula E's title fight gave way to Dennis and Di Grassi in the dockyards Plus

How Formula E's title fight gave way to Dennis and Di Grassi in the dockyards

The penultimate stop on Formula E's world tour took in London's ExCeL, where the championship contenders were upstaged by two first-time winners in 2022. Andretti’s Jake Dennis kept the home fires burning in the first race as Venturi’s Lucas di Grassi claimed the second, but two consistent finishes mean its advantage Stoffel Vandoorne heading to the Seoul finale

Formula E
Aug 1, 2022