Massa targeting race wins for Venturi in Season 6

Despite being one of the most recognisable and successful drivers in motorsport, the popular Felipe Massa is still a relative novice in terms of Formula E racing.

With only one season under his belt driving for the Venturi Racing team, Massa took time to get up to speed in Season 5 but secured a podium in his, and the team’s, home race in Monaco before adding more points finishes by the season’s end.

For a driver so used to victories and podiums at the very highest level of motorsport, the target for the 2019/20 season is now more of the same.

Felipe Massa readies himself for action during pre-season testing in Valencia

“The goal is always to win, to always be better than last season. This is my goal,” Massa told Motorsport Tech on the eve of the season opening Ad Diriyah ePrix.

Having competed for an incredible 15 seasons in Formula One with 11 race victories and 41 podiums, Brazilian Massa is one of the legends of the sport.

Yet, at the pinnacle of electric racing, everything is different. From chassis homologation to tyres, steering wheel and, of course, the battery and drive train, the challenge of Formula E means getting used to an entirely new way of doing things.

“In Formula E, the experience level counts massively in terms of results and what you need to do,” adds Massa. “Definitely, after one season, I have a lot more understanding about the car, about how to behave in terms of all the settings, how to have a better understanding of working on the car with the engineers. So definitely, I am sure the second season can be much better due to my experience in the first year.”

Felipe Massa prepares to go out on track during pre-season testing in Valencia

Helping Massa out on his journey, but also wanting to beat him on the track, is another relative Formula E newcomer in teammate Edoardo Mortara. Mortara joined Venturi for the 2017/18 season and claimed a maiden win in Hong Kong in only his second season in Formula E.

“For sure, Edo is pushing really hard in the team, myself as well. Now that I have more experience, we have two experienced drivers working the right way, in the right direction with the team. Definitely at the track it’s a big competition because he wants to beat me and I want tot beat him and this is just the normal way.

“But in the garage, and with development we get along pretty well, and work in a fantastic atmosphere and harmony with everyone inside the team.”

Felipe Massa leads teammate Edoardo around the Valencia circuit during pre-season testing

With two new teams joining the grid in the form of Porsche and Mercedes, winning in Season 6 is going to be harder than ever. For Massa, that is the ultimate goal, but for the time being, the target is podiums and, all going to plan, race wins.

“Winning the championship, you need to have everything working in the perfect way, yourself, the team, the strategy, the qualifying, the race,” adds Massa. “Everything has to go perfectly. Nobody wins if you don’t have the perfect combination. It is also true that our team is quite young. So, if you see how I started here and how many people have changed inside the team, you need a bit of time to build at a perfect level, to be at the perfect way.

“But I am sure we can be much, much better than what we did last season. So let’s see if this can give us some victories and a good number of podiums by the end of the season. This is our target. Let’s try!”

Fraser Masefield

Sports news and features writer, web editor and author.