Leonardo DiCaprio has joined forces with Venturi Automobiles to enter a team in the new fully electric Formula E Championship.
Based in Monaco, the new Venturi Grand Prix Formula E Team has been co-founded by the actor and Gildo Pallanca Pastor, founder of Venturi Automobiles, which recently made headlines after it unveiled a car designed to beat the land-speed record for electric vehicles.
Venturi Grand Prix will now be put forward to the FIA for approval as the tenth and final team to enter the new zero emission FIA Championship series, which will see electric single-seater race cars capable of speeds in excess of 140mph go head-to-head in 10 different cities from September next year.
“The future of our planet depends on our ability to embrace fuel-efficient, clean-energy vehicles,” DiCaprio said. “Venturi Grand Prix has shown tremendous foresight in their decision to create an environmentally friendly racing team, and I am happy to be a part of this effort.”
Venturi Automobiles plans to become a constructor from the second season, building its own Formula E car using a powertrain based on the one used in its 3,000hp electric streamliner, Venturi VBB-3 - unveiled earlier this year in Wendover, Utah, by Prince Albert II of Monaco.
“Venturi has been a pioneer in electric high performance vehicles for more than a decade and Formula E gives us the fantastic opportunity to further improve our advanced technologies through motorsport, as well as compete all over the world,” said Pallanca Pastor.
“It also gives us the chance to be part of a new racing programme with a project that really shares Venturi’s values for clean mobility, innovation in the field of electric propulsion and energy efficiency optimisation.”
“It’s an honour and a pleasure to welcome the Venturi Grand Prix team as the tenth and final team of the FIA Formula E Championship,” said Alejandro Agag, CEO of series promoters Formula E Holdings.
“Gildo is a true pioneer in electric racing. From the desert of Salt Lake to Antarctica, his passion and vision pushes forward the technology barriers of what can be done with an electric car. But Gildo is not alone in this venture. Global entrepreneurs Francesco Costa and Bert Hedaya bring great experience and energy to the team.
“And of course, I want to give a very special welcome to our Championship to Leonardo DiCaprio. Very few environmental leaders have helped more than him to spread the message of sustainability around the world. Having people like him and Richard Branson - global ambassadors for the environment - is a privilege for our Championship and will help us massively to spread the use of electric cars in cities around the planet.”