Former Ferrari and Williams Formula 1 driver has signed a three-year deal to join the team in Formula E from season five onwards.

Massa had spoken to other teams regarding a race seat, and was recently linked with both Jaguar and Mahindra, but the Brazilian was impressed by Venturi boss Gildo Pastor’s plans and will now undergo an intensive development program in preparation for his debut at the end of this year.

Massa said: “I’m very happy to be joining the VENTURI Formula E Team and the Formula E championship, which has become a magnificent competition in such a short space of time. For some years now, I’ve been clear about my interest in this innovative, forward-looking discipline that’s developing exponentially. I especially like the format of race meetings, the city-centre circuits and the contact with the fans.

“I can’t wait to take part in testing at the end of the month,” he added, “Gildo has always been a step ahead when it comes to high performance electricity vehicles. The team is in a phase of growth and development. I’ll do everything I can to contribute to the project and hopefully I’ll be among the front runners.”

Venturi President Gildo Pastor commented: “It’s an honour to welcome Felipe to the VENTURI family. I needed him, his experience, his speed, and his openness. Formula E is extremely complex to set up and drive. Even more so than in other disciplines, teamwork between the driver and the engineering team is one of the keys to success.

“Felipe’s 15 years’ experience in Formula 1 will definitely give us a boost. And with his humble nature, I know he will listen to the team and master the discipline quickly.”

After a fifteen-year career in F1, Massa has for some time expressed an interest in switching to Formula E and has been spotted at several races as a guest of series CEO Alejandro Agag – the most recent being last month’s Rome E-Prix.

He will join fellow Brazilians Lucas di Grassi and Nelson Piquet on the Formula E grid, with a race in Sao Paulo planned for next season.

Image Credit: Formula E