Slated to reinvent the new racing formula in that part of the 21st century which is mired in climate changes and earthen concerns, Formula-E is motor-racing’s defiant move complimenting the current wave as the world is looking away from hydrocarbons and moving to an electric-fueled future. Slackers, doubters but uncompromising fans for whom the pulsating and shrill sound of a V6 is tantamount to music may not seem too keen on the Formula E.
Formula E: The harbinger of change in motor-racing
But, Formula E is a definite harbinger of great change in motor racing culture as the world in which motor racing propels is gearing up to embrace an electric future.
And there was newfound excitement in motorsports’ relatively newest template when it was announced that one of F1’s old-guards was slated to make a return to competitive racing. And echoing the true sentiment to the changing times, not in Formula 1 but in Formula Electric.
Few other outfits in Formula E would be as spurred by the recent announcement as Monaco-based Venturi. Felipe Massa, one of Grand Prix racing’s icons, if not a world champion, an experienced hand with 269 race entries, 11 wins and 41 podium finishes is all set to race for the Leonardo Di Caprio-owned Venturi racing. At the outset, it fuels the team with great belief whose only laudable achievement in Formula E, apart from being owned by one of Hollywood’s greatest icons of modern era thus far is claiming a solitary pole position.
Aussie grit thinks Massa’s presence in Formula E is great for the sport
But for supporters of Formula E, a worldwide legion of optimists including Australian racing great Mark Webber, Massa’s move to Formula E is a great lift for the sport. “Aussie Grit” is of the view is that not only will the vehicle give Massa a renewed vigour to test the racing athlete in him, someone with whom he’s contested previously for 11 years- 2002-13- the Brazilian’s presence will give avid youngsters a reason to up their game.
Arguably, the most experienced driver in the sport prior to Felipe Massa’s joining was 1997 F1 world champion, Jacques Villeneuve, who signed up for FIA Formula E Championship in 2015, signing up with Venturi Grand Prix interestingly but cut his ties with the electric sport in 2016, having done no better than an 11th at the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Felippe Massa, a more experienced racer in the top echelon of motor-racing, will be wary of the rather sedate history that his Venturi racing team have garnered in a 3-year run starting the 2014-15 season. Despite racing in dozens of GPs, the team managed no better than a sixth-place the in the 2015-16 season where an impressive 77 points were collected by the European outfit. Can Massa’s experience add some colour to a so far jaded run of the team?
Massa has shown no signs of slowing down
Racing, if not smashing a Grand Prix by sheer wizardry and skill, seems to be in his blood. Even as 2014 and 2015, the first half of his Williams- run fetched the Brazilian 134 and 121 points, thus an impressive 7th and 6th place in Driver’s Standings respectively, his desire to race in a newer competitive outfit could have a lot to do with the acrimony of registering mediocre runs in the 2016 and 2017 seasons, the final two years in F1 seeing him failing to enter the Top Ten in the standings.
Ever since at the completion of 2016 F1 season with Williams, within a span of a few weeks, the emotionally gutted veteran of the sport who waved the Brazilian flag in his run-up to the checkered flag at Interlagos, announced a surprise comeback with Williams, nevertheless his return being tagged mediocre.
But years of having raced in the pinnacle of motor-racing may provide Massa natural advantage in a sport where the highest speeds cars clock are in the range of 225 k/hr, as opposed to driving at over 300 k usually in F1 racing.
Interestingly, Massa’s presence in Formula E means we could have a racing fest among former F1 drivers
With Felipe joining the grid next season for Venturi, the all-electric single seater series will now boast an impressive driver line-up, that has no less than seven ex-F1 drivers in the championship. Some of the prized names running for top contention include former Toro Rosso driver Jean-Eric Vergne, Season Two champion Sebastien Buemi and reigning Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi on the grid in the 2017/18 season.