Felipe Massa is turning his back on Formula One

Paris (AFP) - Former Ferrari ace Felipe Massa has signed a three-year deal to race Formula E starting in the 2018-2019 season, his new Venturi team said on Tuesday.

“Today I am starting a new phase in my career, I just signed with Venturi GP team to race next season,” the 37-year-old Brazilian said on Twitter.

Massa looked set to join Jaguar’s E team before extending his Formula 1 contract with Williams to the end of 2017 when Valtteri Bottas joined Mercedes.

“The contract between Felipe Massa and Venturi Formula E Team is for three years,” said Venturi, owned by Monaco real estate magnate Gildo Pastor.

“For some years now, I’ve been clear about my interest in this innovative, forward-looking discipline,” Massa said.

“I especially like the format of race meetings, the city-centre circuits and the contact with the fans,” added Massa, who begins testing next month.

“Gildo (Pastor) has always been a step ahead when it comes to high performance electricity vehicles.”

Massa raced Formula 1 for 15 years and was runner up in the world championship in 2008.

In it’s third season, there are now eleven Formula E races – using fully electric cars – in cities such as New York, Hong Kong and Paris.