May 15, 2018 / 5:22 PM / a year ago

Massa to race for Di Caprio's Venturi Formula E team

FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 - Brazilian Grand Prix 2017 - Sao Paulo, Brazil - November 11, 2017 Williams' Felipe Massa during practice REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Ex-Formula One driver Felipe Massa will race in the Formula E electric motor racing series next season after signing a three-year deal with the Monaco-based Venturi team co-founded by Hollywood actor Leonardo di Caprio.

Massa was Formula One runner-up with Ferrari in 2008, a single point behind Britain’s Lewis Hamilton, and most recently raced for Williams before retiring at the end of last year.

The Brazilian won 11 races, all with Ferrari.

“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,” the 37-year-old said in a team statement on Tuesday.

“I can’t wait to take part in testing at the end of the month.”

The veteran of 15 seasons in Formula One added: “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.

Formula E’s 2018/19 season, the fifth since the series launched, will bring the debut of the Gen2 car that can hit a top speed of 280kph and will have sufficient battery power to last an entire race.

Drivers have to switch cars mid-race at present in the city-based series.

Former F1 champion Nico Rosberg is an investor in Formula E, while a number of other ex-F1 drivers are competing in the championship, including Massa’s former Sauber team mate Nick Heidfeld.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by David Goodman

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