Hollywood A-lister Leonardo DiCaprio is venturing into a new field and it isn't related to the movie industry. He's starting a motor racing team that will join the new all-electric Formula E series.
The actor announced on Monday that he is partnering with Gildo Pallanca Pastor, owner of electric carmaker Venturi Automobiles, to form the tenth and final team that will join the FIA Formula E Championship next year. Formula E is the electricity-powered spinoff of Formula One racing. It hopes to highlight the advances in the electric vehicle technology and speed up the development and innovation among manufacturers.
DiCaprio's decision to be part of the Monaco based Venturi Grand Prix team make the world's first fully-electric racing series a reality. "The future of our planet depends on our ability to embrace fuel-efficient, clean-energy vehicles. Venturi Grand Prix has shown tremendous foresight in their decision to create an environmentally friendly racing team, and I am happy to be a part of this effort," the actor of the Titanic and The Aviator fame said. DiCaprio's team will compete with the likes of Richard Branson's Virgin team, Renault, McLaren and Michelin.
DiCaprio's participation in the forthcoming championship is also expected to give a boost in the championship's profile and interest in the electric vehicle market. Alejandro Agag, chief executive of Formula E Holdings, said, "Very few environmental leaders have helped more than him (DiCaprio) to spread the message of sustainability around the world. Having people like him and Richard Branson - as global ambassadors for the environment - is a privilege for our Championship and will greatly help us to spread the use of electric cars in cities around the planet."
The first all-electric racing series will run from September 2014 through June of 2015 and will take place in ten of the world's leading cities including Beijing, Berlin, Buenos Aires, London, Los Angeles and Miami. Participating teams will initially use cars with the same specifications but after that, manufacturers will be encouraged to use their own specially-built cars.
The championship is backed by the motorsport's governing body, the FIA and the European Commission.