Leonardo DiCaprio just announced that he will be co-founding the Venturi Grand Prix Formula E Team. You didn’t read that wrong. One of the biggest names in Hollywood is getting involved in the electrified equivalent of Formula One.
The new Formula E series offers ecological crusader and sometime-actor DiCaprio an opportunity to plug EV technology in a high profile setting.
Sadly, it doesn’t look like Mr. DiCaprio will actually be taking part as a driver Iron Man style, but the Venturi team is interesting enough. DiCaprio may be bringing money, and, more importantly, his name.
Fortunately for DiCaprio, his partners in this venture, Venturi, look to be a damn-sight better prepared than his last EV investment, Fisker, which has noisily gone bust over the last six months.
Venturi is already responsible for the VBB-3 electric land-speed-record car, as well as a fair number of EV roadsters and cars.
This experience will be important because, while Venturi plans on a running a vehicle based on the Spark-Renault for the first season, it will be designing its own racer from the ground up for the second season.
Competition will be tough, because the other companies competing for the trophy, which I assume will be shaped like a giant plug, include giants like Audi.
It has been a long time since Hollywood and motorsport have been on such intimate terms. Sure, Jay Leno owns more cars than I do things, but it’s a far cry from the days of James Dean and Steve McQueen actually competing in – and winning – actual races. So maybe we should just think of DiCaprio’s venture as a return to form for Hollywood.
Regardless the FIA, the body responsible for both Formula One and Formula E, has got to be happy to have such a big name involved to promote its new event.