MONTE CARLO – Nick Heidfeld and Stéphane Sarrazin will join Venturi for the inaugural season of the new FIA Formula E Championship.
The duo will represent Venturi when they line-up on the grid at the start of the world’s first fully-electric racing series in Beijing on Sept. 13, 2014. Neither Heidfeld nor Sarrazin are strangers to the international racing scene, having both competed in various forms of motorsport including Formula One, WRC and Le Mans.
Heidfeld made 183 Formula One starts in 12 years, earning 13 podiums and one pole. He has also raced in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 12 Hours of Sebring and the Spa 6 Hours. Sarrazin made a single Formula One start in 1999, but has also raced multiple times in the 24 Hours of Le Mans where has finished second overall on three occasions. He has also raced in the former American Le Mans Series, where he won seven times.
“It’s new, and new means exciting. It feels really special to be part of a starting project that is going to bring a lot to the future of racing and the automobile,” said Heidfeld. “I remember when I was young and starting in karting, sustainable development was not in people’s mind. When you’ve been involved in driving and motorsport at a high level for such a long time, you step into a car and automatically start to compare to what you’ve experienced before. I will try to bring some ideas of what I’ve seen and experienced to help the team perform at the highest level. The team will work as one to find solutions: that’s what I like, to move forward. Working on a car is really interesting and very satisfying when you achieve winning results.”
“Being a part of this new championship is amazing. I am excited and motivated to sit in a totally new car with pioneering technology and to undertake a new discipline,” said Sarrazin. “In addition, street circuits promise a lot of close competition and fights between good drivers. You have to perform to make people dream. It’s a great way to raise awareness of electric vehicles. I have three years’ of experience in hybrid vehicle competition, which introduces the concept of being efficient in saving energy and the FIA Formula E Championship takes this to another level. This is something very important and I want to build on my experience. I am proud to race for Venturi, a renowned pioneer in electric vehicles. This is the future.”
To date, 10 of the 20 drivers have been conformed with Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi driving for Audi Sport Abt, Sam Bird and Jaime Alguersuari at Virgin Racing, Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok at Mahindra Racing, Franck Montagny at Andretti Autosport and Jarno Trulli at new team TrulliGP.
“I’m delighted to welcome Nick and Stéphane to the FIA Formula E Championship. Both have shown in the past that they are very talented drivers in various forms of motorsport and they will be a great addition to both Venturi and the Formula E grid,” said Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E.