New horizons for Venturi
Venturi Formula E team has confirmed that German racer Maro Engel will join the team for the 2016/2017 Formula E season. Engel, 30, will replace Briton Mike Conway at the Monegasque outfit, after a sponsor request that the team should field a German driver. Engel will partner Venturi stalwart Stephane Sarrazin, when the third season of the all-electric series takes to Hong Kong on October 9th.
Engel, a Mercedes-Benz works driver for almost a decade, comes with an abundance of racing experience, having competed in Formula 3, DTM, and V8 Supercars, and is the current defending GT World Cup champion. Despite having little experience in single seaters since 2007, when the German was runner up in the British F3 Championship, Engel was asked by Venturi to aid in the testing and development of the S3 car, due to previous experience testing for the team in the summer of 2015.
Positive but challenging
Engel, a long-time fan of the electric racing series, said: “Driving in Formula E is really challenging. From the first laps on-track I had very positive feelings. To drive a Venturi Formula E car is a great experience. It is very complex and you need to think ahead and be able to perform. My adaptation went very well as we had time during the testing days to work in very good conditions. I love racing on street circuits and am now really looking forward to the start of season three.”
Team co-ordinator Franck Baldet praised Engel’s pre-existing performance with the team, commenting: “It is a great satisfaction to welcome Maro. He is already deeply involved in the team through the season three car preparation. He knows our new engine, the VM 200-FE-02. He did most of the testing sessions accumulating hundreds of kilometres behind the wheel. He is efficient and accurate in his comments to our engineers, always available for the exchange that will increase the performance of the vehicle.”
Engel is expected to continue his Blancpain campaign, racing with Mercedes’ Black Falcon Squad, alongside his new Formula E commitments. It is likely that the German will make his public Formula E debut at this month’s testing at Donington Park, before the third season of the championship gets underway in Hong Kong in October.