Ex-DTM racer Maro Engel replaces Mike Conway in Venturi Formula E team

Mercedes GT driver Maro Engel will drive for the Venturi Formula E team in the 2016/17 season

Ex-DTM racer Maro Engel replaces Mike Conway in Venturi Formula E team

The 30-year-old former DTM driver replaces Mike Conway alongside Stephane Sarrazin at the Monegasque outfit.

Engel won the inaugural FIA GT World Cup in Macau last year, and this season helped Mercedes win the Nurburgring 24 Hours.

He competed a half-day test with Venturi in the summer of 2015 before rejoining the team to lead the development of its Venturi VM200-FE-02.

"The last few years I've been racing with a roof over my head so I'm looking forward to racing a formula car again," Engel told Autosport.

"The opportunity to test and develop the season three car was something I really enjoyed, something I wanted to do since last summer.

"It sort of grew from there and when they presented the opportunity to race the car it was something I definitely wanted to do."

Engel started his career in single-seaters, finishing second in British Formula 3 in 2007 before switching to the DTM with Mercedes.

He will continue his Blancpain commitments with Mercedes' Black Falcon GT squad alongside his new FE programme.

Engel thanked the German manufacturer for giving him permission to return to single-seaters, and described FE as "the place to be" for drivers.

"It is something I've been following since season one," he said.

"It's got great drivers, cities and teams and more and more manufacturers.

"I've adapted to the car very well but it's hard to put it into numbers right now.

"We've done some good work over this break to improve the package and we're confident.

"I'm aware I'm a rookie in this series and experience is a very important part of motorsport. It will be a steep learning curve."

Franck Baldet, who has been in charge of the development of Venturi's 2016/17 powertrain, praised Engel's professionalism, accuracy of feedback and consistency during the team's test programme.

Baldet revealed outgoing Toyota LMP1 driver Conway's departure was aided by a sponsor request for the team to field a German driver.

"Mike was a fantastic driver and we appreciated a lot the way he was with the team," said Baldet.

"It was not a pleasure to say he would not continue with us, but it's mixed because Maro will be a very exceptional driver for us.

"He knows the car but he doesn't know the tracks and how difficult it is to fight during the FE races.

"This will be the challenge for him to succeed."

shares
comments
FIA urged to resolve surprise Formula E and WEC date clash

Previous article

FIA urged to resolve surprise Formula E and WEC date clash

Next article

Antonio Felix da Costa joins Andretti for 2016/17 Formula E season

Antonio Felix da Costa joins Andretti for 2016/17 Formula E season
Load comments
Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive Plus

Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive

OPINION: Circuit racing has traditionally favoured front- or rear-wheel-drive setups, eschewing the equal distribution of power. But for Formula E and other electric-powered series, our columnist believes it’s a perfect fit

Formula E
Oct 13, 2021
How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success Plus

How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success

The Wolffs have carved their own paths in motorsport, leading their respective teams to success in Formula 1 and Formula E. But the two came together last month as their drivers finished first and second in the FE drivers' championship - a feat they are hugely proud of. In a rare joint interview, they reflect on a remarkable season

Formula E
Sep 21, 2021
The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21 Plus

The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21

OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was one without a narrative for much of the season, with no single car or driver able to break away from the pack. That makes choosing a top 10 especially difficult, particularly as the qualifying format meant some worthy performers were unable to enjoy their day in the sun

Formula E
Sep 19, 2021
How Mercedes and De Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way Plus

How Mercedes and De Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way

When Nyck de Vries dominated the first race of what would be the most controversial and unpredictable Formula E season to date, it looked as though Mercedes was in for a cakewalk. But as the campaign wore on, the path to a title double became increasingly rocky. Neither driver or team would be assured of the crown until the closing stages of the very final race on a weekend of struggle in Berlin

Formula E
Sep 17, 2021
The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep its original missionary winning Plus

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

OPINION: The departure of Audi from Formula E meant its long-time driver Lucas di Grassi would need to find a new berth to stay on the grid. His deal at Venturi Racing will ensure the championship's first-ever race winner will remain competitive into the final year of the current Gen2 ruleset - although it may not be a long-term fit

Formula E
Sep 15, 2021
The problems laid bare by Mercedes' impending Formula E departure Plus

The problems laid bare by Mercedes' impending Formula E departure

Mercedes' planned withdrawal from Formula E at the end of the 2022 season will contribute to the big hole left by fellow automotive manufacturers Audi and BMW on their departures. Although the team may stick around under a different guise, the exit of the now-reigning teams' champion underlines FE's current issues...

Formula E
Aug 18, 2021
The F1 dilemma facing Mercedes' new world champion Plus

The F1 dilemma facing Mercedes' new world champion

After clinching the Formula E title at the Berlin finale, Nyck de Vries is a driver in demand. Although Mercedes would love to keep a reigning champion at the team, the allure of a Williams F1 drive may be too much for de Vries to ignore should a potential deal come to pass

Formula E
Aug 17, 2021
How de Vries claimed Formula E title glory as Mercedes exit bombshell looms Plus

How de Vries claimed Formula E title glory as Mercedes exit bombshell looms

As Formula E lined up to complete its seventh season at Berlin's Tempelhof Airport, all eyes were on who would be its first official FIA world champion. Despite Nyck de Vries' title lead heading into the weekend looking all but secure, the Dutchman held on - and enjoyed a good dollop of fortune - to secure a championship double for Mercedes

Formula E
Aug 16, 2021