The inaugural season of the FIA Formula E Championship is continuing to attract former Grand Prix racers, with the Venturi team announcing that Nick Heidfeld and Stéphane Sarrazin will comprise its line-up.
The pair – who were rivals in the International Formula 3000 championship in the late 1990s and today race in the FIA World Endurance Championship – will line up on the grid at the world’s first fully electric racing series at the season-opening race in Beijing on September 13.
The team was founded by Venturi Automobiles, a leading player in electric sports car production and current holder of the world land speed record for an electric vehicle. The racing team is co-chaired by none other than Oscar-nominated actor Leonardo DiCaprio.
While Heidfeld’s lengthy 183 Grand Prix career – the second longest in history without a race win – is well-documented with stints at Prost, Sauber, Jordan, Williams, BMW Sauber and Renault, Sarrazin’s was considerably briefer.
The Frenchman made his sole Grand Prix appearance at the 1999 Brazilian Grand Prix for the Minardi team as a stand-in for the injured Luca Badoer. He showed impressive speed until he had an enormous accident mid-race. He never graced the F1 grid again, although he continued as a test driver for Prost and Toyota before moving into rallying and endurance racing, enjoying successful stints in both disciplines.
“I’m delighted to welcome Nick and Stéphane to the FIA Formula E Championship. Both have shown in the past that they are very talented drivers in various forms of motorsport and they will be a great addition to both Venturi and the Formula E grid,” FIA Formula E Championship CEO Alejandro Agag said.
To-date, ten of the grid’s twenty drivers have been confirmed, with Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi driving for Audi Sport Abt, Sam Bird and Jaime Alguersuari at Virgin Racing, Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok at Mahindra Racing, Franck Montagny at Andretti Autosport and Jarno Trulli at the new TrulliGP team.
Image via FIA Formula E Championship