Formula 1 Champ Jacques Villeneuve Signs On For Formula E
Jacques Villeneuve, former F1 World Champion from 1997, joins the Venturi Formula E Team.
The Canadian will race along side French driver Stéphane Sarrazin, who continues to be with Venturi in the second season.
“In 1996, the year of his arrival in Formula 1, Villeneuve achieved Vice World Champion. The experienced Canadian driver went on to become a Formula 1 World Champion in 1997 and spent 10 years driving in the most prestigious motorsports competition. During his 10-year tenure at the top of motorsports (with Willams, BAR, Sauber and Renault) he took home 11 victories and placed on the podium 23 times.”
Villeneuve joined the team after a test day in France:
“It had been 10 years since I had driven on that kind of track with a single-seater, but it’s like riding a bike, you never forget. It was real happiness. There was a very good ambiance with the Venturi team and one of the engineers with Venturi happens to be a guy I worked with early in my career. That was great. I was very excited and everything went well. Last season each time I met drivers from Formula-E they were saying it is really a very interesting championship.”
With nearly 20 years removed from his F1 World Champion title, Villeneuve will not be the favorite, but it’s good that Formula E is attracting not only former F1 drivers, but even champions.
Gildo Pastor, Venturi Automobiles CEO said:
“It is a true pleasure to welcome the very great champion Jacques Villeneuve. He is the first Formula 1 World Champion to join Formula E as a driver. In addition to his 1997 title and his numerous victories in F1, no one has forgotten his victory in the Indianapolis 500 or in the IndyCar World Series. “He grew up in Monaco, we crossed paths so many times in childhood, so he will be at home with Venturi. I am very happy with the experienced and talented duo of Jacques and Stéphane.”
Important thing for Venturi is its new VM200 powertrain, already tested a few times by Sarrazin for over 1,000 miles (1,600 km). Stéphane Sarrazin said:
“The new engine showed immediate reliability. We can say we have a very good package (powertrain / engine). We don’t know what the other teams have done but we are assured that our car is very efficient. “