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Interview

Engel: Macau pedigree makes Formula E perfect fit

New Venturi Formula E driver Maro Engel believes his affinity for street circuit racing will put him in good stead for his first single-seater campaign in almost a decade.

Winner Maro Engel, Mercedes AMG Driving Academy
#56 Black Falcon, Mercedes-AMG GT3: Daniel Juncadella; #00 AMG-Team Black Falcon, Mercedes AMG-GT3: Maro Engel
#00 AMG-Team Black Falcon, Mercedes AMG-GT3: Yelmer Buurman, Maro Engel, Bernd Schneider
Stéphane Sarrazin, Venturi
Maro Engel
Podium: winner Maro Engel, Mercedes AMG Driving Academy
Maro Engel, Mercedes AMG Driving Academy Mercedes–Benz SLS AMG GT3
#00 AMG - Team Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3: Maro Engel, Bernd Schneider, Yelmer Buurman
#00 AMG-Team Black Falcon, Mercedes AMG-GT3: Yelmer Buurman, Maro Engel, Bernd Schneider
Stéphane Sarrazin, Venturi

Motorsport.com broke the news of Engel’s signing with the Monegasque team, and the German GT ace is hungry and motivated to make his mark in the burgeoning all-electric formula.

“Formula E is something I have followed very closely since the first ever race and I always wanted to be a part of it,” Engel told Motorsport.com.

“The championship really appeals to me: great venues, great competition and it just seems a fantastic place to be for a driver."

It has been nine years since Engel raced a single-seater, as he competed for Carlin Motorsport in the British F3 Championship in 2007.

But the German believes that his excellent record at Macau, where he has won in 2014 and 2015 for Mercedes AMG, will put him in good stead for success in Formula E.

“I am amazed it is that long ago but the sensation I had getting back in to a Formula car was very natural and I really didn’t give it that much of a thought,” said Engel.

“I have good memories from my single-seater career and the great thing is all of the races in Formula E are on street tracks which I love. It is pure racing to me and the challenge is very high.

"I have always really enjoyed it and I think that shows in the success I have had at Macau.”

No Mercedes link

Engel has been a Mercedes AMG factory driver for the last nine seasons, but was quick to make the point that the German giant is not connected to the deal which sees him return to single-seaters.

“It is separate to my programme with AMG,” said Engel. “It is important for me thank Mercedes and AMG for letting me have the opportunity to join Venturi and add it to my programme with them. I am very grateful.”

Engel actually first tested for the Venturi team in the summer of 2015, and was then called upon to conduct some of the development work for the season three package which will be known as the Venturi VM200-FE-02 car.

“I have really enjoyed the testing and then one thing led to another, and I am happy to become a Venturi driver today and to partner Stephane in the team,” continued Engel.

“We have put in a lot of work [in private testing] and a lot of good engineering has gone in to the new package.

"Compared to season two, which was quite successful, I think we can make a lot of steps forward.”

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