The Venturi stand at the Mondial de l’Automobile 2014, the Paris Motor Show, was simple but effective. On one side of the stand was an old Venturi Automobiles saloon car, on the back wall was the Venturi EV Land Speed Record holder and on the other side of the stand sat Stephane Sarrazin’s Renault-Spark Formula E racer, or a show mock up at least.
TCF spoke to the Venturi Formula E Team to get their feelings after the first FIA Formula E e-Prix in Beijing.
We were really excited about getting to Beijing. It was the first Formula E race and we thought the pilotes did a great race. Stephane had a problem with the gearbox and he had to start from the back of the grid. He finished in ninth position so it’s not bad going, getting ten places in the race. It was a really great race because it wasn’t really easy on the race track.
Nick did a great race too, until the last corner. We were all very disappointed and shocked at the accident. We were really happy to see that he got out of the car and he was fine. Nick was really disappointed because he was expecting a lot and he really wanted to win this race. Unfortunately this kind of crash happens.
The team were pleased to know that Nick Heidfeld and his Rebellion Racing Rebellion R-One car-mate Nico Prost, had made up after the shunt which robbed both cars of a chance at the first ever e-Prix victory.
Nick and Nico are friends, they share a car with Rebellion. Last time they met it was at Austin, it was the first time they met after Beijing and they said, ‘Ok this kind of thing happens, let’s forget it’.
Of more concern now that we know that all escaped unharmed is the state of the Renault-Spark from Venturi. The team have asked for a relaxation of the regulations under force majure to allow them to put Heidfeld’s second car back together.
The Formula E engineers are looking at the car. It went straight from Beijing to Malaysia and our engineers are asking the FIA if we can have a couple of more days to work on it. We are not supposed to touch the cars between the races. We have asked for extra days and we think they will let us. It’s in process and our engineers work really well.
When Stephane broke his gearbox there were a lot of cars having broken gearboxes. Our Chief Technical 0fficer had to fight to get the last available gearbox and the team rebuilt the gearbox in two hours!
So Stephane had a great race, Nick had his crash which was unfortunate but it is a great experience to start this new championship.
The aim is to win.