Williams F1 partner ROKiT agrees title sponsor FE deal with Venturi

Alex Kalinauckas
Williams F1 partner ROKiT to sponsor Venturi in FE
Williams F1 partner ROKiT to sponsor Venturi in FE

The Venturi Racing Formula E squad has signed a three-year title sponsorship deal with Williams Formula 1 sponsor and telecommunications company ROKiT.

Venturi - now a Mercedes customer team - will run in a new red and black livery for the 2019-20 season as part of the new deal.

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The team ran in a temporary white livery in pre-season testing at Valencia last month.

Signing a title sponsor is the latest step in Venturi's three-season development programme, which included hiring Susie Wolff as team principal ahead of last season, and switching to a Mercedes powertrain supply arrangement for 2019-20.

"It's a proud moment for us that ROKiT has chosen to join us in Formula E, but it's also a very defining moment that a big sponsor in Formula 1 has also chosen to enter the Formula E platform," Wolff told Autosport.

"Because that shows just how much momentum the platform is starting to gleam."

Regarding Venturi's sponsor ambitions for the new season, Wolff said "There were a number of discussions going on, but I was quite confident that we weren't going to go into season six without a partner on board", and explained the deal with ROKiT came together recently.

"It was a really important part of the jigsaw for year two [of the development programme]," she added.

"Because to go racing and with the potential that we have in the team, it seemed such a shame not to have a proper partner on board to share the platform with.

"I got to know Jonathan [Kendrick, ROKiT co-founder] only around one week ago and he's an incredible entrepreneur, who, very much like Gildo [Pastor, Venturi president], is a pioneer and a visionary.

"The brand fits perfectly, there's a lot of synergies with the Formula E platform."

Kendrick explained that FE's city-centre race locations was "the big key" to ROKiT getting involved so that it can showcase its connectivity technology to the electric championship's audience.

"[ROKiT] technology is going to change the world and how we communicate within cities, and that's the clever thing about it - it's so inexpensive, everybody can now have access," said Kendrick.

"I made up my mind in the first 10 minutes - that this is where I want to be.

"I just believe in Susie, I like her strength. I know her history obviously, but she's very determined.

"It's literally been a week [since the first meeting] - and I would say the second day, which is ridiculously fast, she'd got all the logos sorted out, the car sorted out, the team kit.

"So to me that was like, 'Wow, they really are very professional this team'."

Venturi will enter the 2019-20 season, which starts on Friday in Riyadh, with Felipe Massa and Edoardo Mortara as its driver line-up for a second consecutive campaign.

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