Award-winning actor and highly-committed environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio and luxury electric vehicle automaker Venturi Automobiles have cofounded a team to join the upcoming FIA Formula E Championship.
The involvement of DiCaprio, who owns an electric Tesla Roadster and 2 hybrid vehicles, does not come as a big surprise as he has always voiced out his concerns and lent support to various efforts to curb the deterioration of the environment and various human rights issues.
"The future of our planet depends on our ability to embrace fuel-efficient, clean-energy vehicles. 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," said DiCaprio.
Monaco-based Venturi Automobiles started developing electric-powered engines in 2001 under the ownership of Gildo Pallanca Pastor and released the ‘Fetish’ at the 2002 Geneva International Motor Show. They are the current holders of the world land speed record for an electric vehicle with 495kph (307mph).
"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 Pastor.
The FIA Formula E Championship - the world’s first fully-electric race series begins in September 2014 – uses an electric single-seater race car capable of speeds in excess of 225km/h. The series will be held in 10 of the world's leading cities including Beijing, Los Angeles and London.
There will be ten teams, each with two drivers, in a racing series designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fan whilst accelerating the electric vehicle market and promoting sustainability.
Venturi Grand Prix Formula E Team has been co-founded by DiCaprio and Pastor together with Bert Hedaya and Francesco Costa. Future plans include becoming a constructor in 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 H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco.
Venturi Grand Prix is awaiting approval from the FIA as the tenth and final team to enter the new zero emission series.
“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. 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,” said Alejandro Agag, CEO of series promoters Formula E Holdings.
For more information on Formula E visit www.fiaformulae.com or for further details on Leonardo DiCaprio visit www.leonardodicaprio.com. More information on Venturi Automobiles can be found at www.venturicars.com
2014/2015 FIA Formula E Championship – Team line-up:
1. Drayson Racing Formula E Team (UK)
2. China Racing Formula E Team (China)
3. Andretti Autosport Formula E Team (USA)
4. Dragon Racing Formula E Team (USA)
5. e.dams Formula E Team (France)
6. Super Aguri Formula E Team (Japan)
7. Audi Sport ABT Formula E Team (Germany)
8. Mahindra Racing Formula E Team (India)
9. Virgin Racing Formula E Team (UK)
10. Venturi Grand Prix Formula E Team (Monaco)
* All teams remain subject to FIA approval