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Rokit Venturi Racing, the Monaco-based Formula E team, has been bought by a US investor group, with founder Gildo Pastor still retaining an interest and the team remaining headquartered in the Principality.
Monaco’s Rokit Formula E team, who has shown steady and consistent progress in six short seasons, is now headed up by an investor group led by Scott Swid and José Aznar Botella, who bring decades of global investment experience to the table.
The new ownership will still retain Team Principal Susie Wolff, who also adds managing partner to her title, and founder Gildo Pastor. But they have appointed a new deputy team principal, Jerome d’Ambrosio.
The team will remain Monaco-based and will continue to race under the Venturi name.
“Their investment experience will strengthen our capabilities and provide us with new perspectives and opportunities for the future,” said Wolff. “This move also demonstrates the positive role that the forthcoming cost cap has to play in the commercial viability and therefore appeal of the sport to investors and partners.”
Rokit Venturi got its first victory in season five, which “came much earlier than we honestly expected”, said Wolff, adding: “It’s easy to say season six was challenging but there were highlights, even if I feel as a group, we were capable of much more.”
According to the team principal, the new ownership provides a solid foundation for the long term that the team can build on.
Wolff has been credited with much of Venturi’s success. It was on her watch that they won their first victory at Formula E’s 50th race in Hong Kong in 2019. This led to a partnership with telecom innovators Rokit and Mercedes Benz, who became the team’s powertrain supplier.
The team has one outright victory and six podium finishes as it enters its 7th season, as well as a hope that carbon neutral car racing is the way of the future.
The Venturi camp sees the injection of capital as a testament to the growing appeal of Formula E as well as its ability to be a money-maker. For Swid and Botella, it’s a chance to bring a fresh perspective to the team.
“Initially, we were looking at Formula 1 from an investment perspective – but understandably José is a big believer in the potential of Formula E and introduced me to Susie,” said Swid. “From our first meeting, I could see the unique business case the sport and the team present. Investing in Venturi, with its heritage as an original team guided by the visionary Gildo Pastor and competing in an exciting sport that promotes global sustainability and pioneering electric mobility is a great opportunity. Every forward-thinking corporate board in the world is cognisant of the importance of sustainability and is looking for ways to invest in its future.”
He added: “Formula E is in its intermediate stage, having successfully overcome the hurdles of its early period. With this strong foundation, it is a great time to invest when the championship is established and there is still so much growth to come.”
Top photo: Edoardo Mortara driving for Venturi during the Marrakesh E-prix at Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan Marrakesh in February 2020 (Photo by Sam Bloxham / LAT Images)
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