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Venturi’s deal to become Maserati Formula E team explained – The Race

The Venturi name will disappear from Formula E later this year as the official Maserati Formula E team, but the majority of the current team structure will remain.

Entering Formula E as a manufacturer under specially adapted additional brand guidelines reported by The Race earlier this year paved the way for Maserati to become an additional Stellantis marque in the World Championship.

Now confirmation has come that the trident brand will operate from Venturi’s Monaco base in what Venturi CEO Susie Wolff described as “the best deal out there” for the team she has led since 2018. .

Venturi’s growing competitiveness, productive relationship and location close to Italy were among the key advantages that helped the deal – which closed in late 2021 – cross the line.

“Returning to motorsport with Formula E was a natural choice for Maserati,” said brand CEO Davide Grosso. “Indeed, we are driven by our passion and our innovation. And we are happy to share this adventure with a partner who shares the same values ​​as us and who looks to the future, just like us.

Racing with a Stellantis brand has always been Venturi’s number one goal. At one point last fall, it seemed likely that it would become a DS Venturi entity after the rift between DS and the current Techeetah team began to widen due to future uncertainty regarding its Chinese owners. SECA and its long-term commitment to the project.

But the real platform for how Venturi will become Maserati for the foreseeable future was actually laid in 2020 when Gildo Pastor and Wolff sanctioned the sale of the team to businessmen Scott Swid and Jose M Aznar Botella.

This transaction gave Venturi the flexibility to offer potential partners naming rights opportunities, which was exactly what Maserati was looking for in Formula E.

While it worked for Venturi, it was a deal breaker for another potential partner Andretti – who spoke extensively to Stellantis Motorsport and Maserati in the final quarter of 2021. It couldn’t work as Andretti had signed a long and lucrative partnership agreement in title. with blockchain company Avalanche.

“Because Gildo and I were no longer shareholders, there was no Venturi brand that needed to stay, which really gave us carte blanche on the marketing side,” Wolff told The Race.

“We could be renamed, and that was a very, very compelling proposition to have on the table alongside everything else.”

Venturi seems to have achieved something close to a perfect match – a major, glamorous manufacturer with a strong racing heritage combined with the stability of its base and staff. But it wasn’t always so clear cut, according to Wolff.

“[Moving from Monaco] was on the cards because, at the time, we thought we would do whatever it took to keep the team moving forward,” she says.

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“When I say securing the team, I mean there were two elements: the performance side; but also, for the new owner, there was the business model and what needed to work.

“With the cost cap, it has become very clear that if we are successful, it can also be a profitably run business in the future.

“So we talked about it sometimes but it was never our number one option, we wanted to stay in Monaco.”

The Race understands that discussions of a centralized operation managed by Stellantis in Satory, Paris, from where powertrains and technical support for DS’s new venture with Dragon Penske will be managed, were also considered for Venturi, but ultimately ended. been rejected.

On the driver’s side, Edoardo Mortara is very likely to remain a driver in 2023, but doubts have intensified over Lucas di Grassi’s future position in the team.

As previously reported by The Race, di Grassi is set to race elsewhere in 2023 in a role that could also include some form of team management deal.

That leaves an available main seat alongside Mortara to be filled, and with 75% of the current Formula E grid out of contract, Maserati will have several choices at its disposal.

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Venturi entered Formula E in 2014, with Stéphane Sarrazin and Nick Heidfeld as drivers, before forging partnerships with several suppliers for the following seasons.

One of them was with the ZF Group in 2016 which laid the foundations for its partnership with Mercedes for the Gen2 era from 2018.

It was initially as its powertrain supplier to the HWA Racelab team before the roles were handed over to Mercedes supplying technology to Venturi for the 2019-20 season until present.

Edoardo Mortara signed three of the four victories won by the Monegasque team in Hong Kong in 2019, in Puebla in 2021 and in Diriyah in January 2022. Norman Nato took the other victory in Berlin Tempelhof last summer.

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