- FAN ZONE
09 Dec 20
ROKiT Venturi Racing has announced that an investor group, led by Scott Swid and Jose M Aznar, has purchased the team, with Team Principal Susie Wolff and Founder Gildo Pastor retaining an interest.
The new ownership structure and investment underscores the continued positive momentum of the team since Susie Wolff took over the helm in June 2018, signifying the start of a new era for the Monegasque outfit.
“We move on to our next chapter as a team under new ownership led by Jose and Scott," said Wolff, who becomes a Managing Partner in the outfit, and will continue in her current role as Team Principal, alongside newly-appointed deputy Team Principal Jerome D'Ambrosio.
"Their investment experience will strengthen our capabilities and provide us with new perspectives and opportunities for the future. 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.
"In Season 5, we got our first victory, which came much earlier than we honestly expected," adds Wolff on the team's on-track exploits and expectations. "It's easy to say Season 6 was challenging but there were highlights, even if I feel as a group we were capable of much more.
"The big word is consistency. It's easy to get those mega results once every few races, but it's the teams that score every weekend that are there at the end of the year. For me, it's not about focusing on a podium or a good result, it's about holding ourselves up to be within the top six of the Teams' Championship.
"I'm setting expectations high because I believe we have everything in place to achieve. Now with the new ownership, we have a very solid foundation for the long term that we can build on."
Venturi feels the investment is testimony to the continued progression and commercial appeal of the team, and that of Formula E - which becomes an FIA World Championship this season - with Swid and Aznar adding decades of global investment experience and a fresh perspective to its operations.
“Initially, we were looking at Formula 1 from an investment perspective – but Jose is a big believer in the potential of Formula E and introduced me to Susie," said Scott Swid, Chairman and Managing Partner, ROKiT Venturi Racing. "From our first meeting, I could see the unique business case the sport and the team present - Formula E solves every problem we came across with investing in Formula 1, from that perspective.
"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.
"Formula E is in its intermediate stage, having successfully overcome the hurdles of its early period. There's a lot of real positive momentum from the championship, with huge audiences opened up by free-to-air broadcast deals in the United States with CBS and in Germany in recent weeks, as well as from our team. With this strong foundation, it is a great time to invest when Formula E is established and there is still so much growth to come.
"We're not a huge organisation with a lot of sales people. Susie has worn every hat and has done an incredible job bringing in a fantastic title partner in ROKiT in such a short period of time. Jose and I can't help the performance of the car, but we can go and drive the commercial aspects of the team, sponsorship revenues and support Susie in delivering on-track."
“I’ve had a unique perspective on Formula E since its inception and I was captivated by the vision to promote a more sustainable future through electric racing from the outset," said Jose M Aznar, Managing Partner, ROKiT Venturi Racing. "My first real experience of Formula E was at the finale of the inaugural season in Battersea Park back in 2015 and I could feel the appeal immediately.
"Even back then, I had the feeling that this was something incredibly special that had the potential to be unstoppable – and I was right. What Alejandro (Agag, Chairman and Founder, Formula E) and his team have done has fundamentally changed the way that people think about electric mobility. Gildo was right at the forefront from the beginning, and his intuition to bring Susie to the team was spot on."
Gildo Pastor was an early pioneer in Formula E, with Venturi committing to the championship from its inaugural 2014/15 campaign under his stewardship. His main focus now, as Venturi Automobiles' president, will be on new electromobility record attempts - a staple of the company's history - as well as groundbreaking space endeavours.
“Two and a half years ago, I put my absolute faith in Susie, her vision for the team, and her undisputed tenacity to bring that vision to life," he said. "We have met so many milestones along our journey so far, including our first race victory, our first title partnership with ROKiT and the addition of our powertrain partnership with Mercedes-Benz in a strategic response to the rapid evolution of the championship.
"Now, we have a new and forward-thinking investor group, led by Scott and Jose, who see and feel the potential in the series and team as I do."
"I want to thank Gildo for his trust and unwavering support," adds Wolff. "I always had a fantastic relationship with him and he was one of the main reasons that I chose to take on this challenge and he put his absolute faith and trust in me.
"Gildo’s been so committed to Formula E from the very beginning and what he's managed to build up the team - he has created something very special.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed working with such a visionary and have no doubt that he will continue to push the boundaries of sustainable mobility far beyond what many dare to deem possible."