Maro Engel and Stephane Sarrazin will race for Venturi when Season 3 starts in FIA Formula E Championship.
Sarrazin will be doing his 3rd season for the monegasque team, while Engel starts his first season for the team, and in Formula E in general.
Sarrazin is also known from Toyota Gazoo Racing and their WEC programme, which he has been a part of since their start, plus he also develops on the Toyota Yaris WRC car, that will debut in 2017.
Maro Engel has been, and will continue to be despite his new challenges, a Mercedes works driver since 2007, where he first drove in Formula 3 for Carlin in a Mercedes powered car. After that he did 4 seasons of DTM but unfortunately without big success. After this he was placed in Mercedes-AMG’s GT3 programme, and has since been on loan to many teams around the world, if they needed a fast driver. In 2013 he had a season in V8 Supercars for Erebus Motorsport, who competed with Mercedes cars, before he returned to Europe again. He is reigning FIA GT World Cup Champion, and earlier this season he won the 24 Hours of Nürburgring.
The Venturi team had a problematic opening season in Formula E, where they only finished 9th. But their 2015/2016 was much better, with Stephane driving the car to 2nd position in Long Beach. The team started out having Jacques Villeneuve as 2nd driver, but after the 3rd round he was replaced by Mike Conway. Villeneuve didn’t score any points for the team, while Conway just scored 7 points to Sarrazin’s 70 points. But that was still enough to get 6th position in the Championship for the team.
The lack of points for the teams 2nd car is probably the reason why they are looking for new driving talent. Engel has proven that he is lightning fast in a GT3 car, and prior to that in single-seaters too. So it will be very exciting to see him in a single-seater car for the first time in almost 10 years.
Currently there is no connection between Mercedes and Formula E – but since BMW is active in the series as official supplier of the safety car, and Audi is active with Abt, it’s not unlikely that Mercedes also has an eye on the electric championship. But only time will tell.
Season 3 of FIA Formula E Championship starts on October 9th in Hong Kong.