Ex-Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa has signed a three-year deal to race with Venturi in Formula E and will make his debut in season five (2018-19).

Massa, who retired from F1 at the end of last season after being replaced at Williams by Sergey Sirotkin, has long been linked with a future in FE.

The 11-time grand prix winner has previously tested with Jaguar’s FE team as well as having attended the Rome ePrix in April.

At the end of May, Massa will begin testing the Gen2 FE car, which will debut along with Massa at the start of the series’ fifth season.

“I’m very happy to be joining the Venturi Formula E Team and the Formula E championship, which has become a magnificent competition in such a short space of time,” said Massa.

“For some years now, I’ve been clear about my interest in this innovative, forward-looking discipline that’s developing exponentially. I especially like the format of race meetings, the city-centre circuits and the contact with the fans.

“I can’t wait to take part in testing at the end of the month.”

Massa spent 16 years in F1, driving for Ferrari from 2006 until ’13. In ’08, he finished as championship runner-up to Lewis Hamilton in a dramatic season finale at Interlagos, in which he missed out on the title by one point.

With 269 grand prix starts in his career, Massa is sixth on the all-time list for F1 races entered.

“I needed him, his experience, his speed, and his openness, ” said the president of Venturi Gildo Pastor. “Formula E is extremely complex to set up and drive.

“Even more so than in other disciplines, teamwork between the driver and the engineering team is one of the keys to success.

“Felipe’s 15 years’ experience in F1 will definitely give us a boost. And with his humble nature, I know he will listen to the team and master the discipline quickly.”