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2016 Formula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg says he's 'open to all possibilities' regarding a return to racing over eight months after he announced his shock retirement from F1.  

The German triumphed over long-time rival and Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in a closely fought title battle last year before calling time on his career just five days after the season finale in Abu Dhabi. 

Since then he has been enjoying a quieter life with his family, traveling but was present for the races in Monaco and Silverstone. Commenting on what comes next, Rosberg told the DPA news agency that an F1 return was 'definitely not' on the cards but refused to rule out other racing categories. 

"Now I'm in a great situation in my life - it's like a discovery phase," he said.."Racing will always be fun to me, so let's see what happens. I will always be passionate about our sport and there will always be options to be involved.

"It does not have to be tomorrow, it could be in 10 years, but I will be open to all possibilities."

Reports have suggested Rosberg could take up a managerial role within Mercedes' Formula E team after recently announcing their participation in the series from season six, along with fellow Germann manufacturers Audi, BMW and Porsche. 

The 31-year-old refused to confirm any involvement but expressed a real passion and excitement for electric racing and the future of the automobile industry.  

"This is the future of the world and it will be exciting to see when all those manufacturers put their cards on the table," he claimed. "It will change our world completely. 

"We'll have cars that drive themselves and not just in 20 years - it's just around the corner. I'm very interested in how our lives will be simplified by that," he added.

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The first race of the double-header finale to the 2016/17 FIA Formula E Championship season was full of excitement and drama, as the two title protagonists, Sebastien Buemi and Lucas di Grassi had very different race days.

Renault e.dams’ Buemi came into the event with a ten-point advantage over his Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport despite having missed the last race in New York City, however his day didn’t begin well with a heavy crash in the second free practice session. As a result of the incident, the team was forced to change the battery, landing the reigning champion with a ten-place grid penalty meaning he would start in 12th.

Di Grassi, meanwhile, had a faultless morning, setting the fastest time in the first practice session and then putting his car on pole position to secure what could be three vital championship points.

As the lights went out, the Brazilian covered off a fast-starting Stephan Sarrazin, with the Techeetah car slotting into second place. From that point on di Grassi progressively pulled away from the field, while further down the order, Buemi was putting in an impressive comeback drive despite contact on the opening lap resulting in damage to his car.

A Full Course Yellow period at almost half-distance – caused by a coming together between Mahindra’s Nick Heidfeld and Faraday Future Dragon Racing’s Loic Duval which left the Mahindra car stranded on the circuit – saw the majority of the field dive into the pits for the mandatory car change. When racing commenced once more Buemi’s charge continued, punctuated by a fierce battle with di Grassi’s team-mate Daniel Abt.

The Renault driver wasn’t the only one on the move, as both DS Virgin Racing cars started well down the order but were carving their way into points-paying places. While Sam Bird would go on to cross the line in sixth, his stable-mate Jose Maria Lopez lost the rear end of his car and collided with the barriers. The position of his stranded car meant that the safety car was deployed, closing the hard-fought gap built up by di Grassi to almost nothing.

By this point, the Techeetah car of Jean-Eric Vergne had made its way by both Sarrazin and Mahindra’s Felix Rosenqvist into second place, and as the final few laps unfolded he put immense pressure on di Grassi, who held his nerve to take the chequered flag.

A mistake from Rosenqvist and contact with the wall left him to limp across the line in tenth, while in what was a thrilling final lap, Buemi went side-by-side with Sarrazin for three consecutive corners to try and snatch third place. The Techeetah driver wouldn’t yield, however, and made it a double podium finish for the team.

Post-race scrutineering then saw Renault and Buemi’s hard work go unrewarded, as the car was found to be underweight. The FIA stewards took into consideration the difficult circumstances Renault e.dams was forced to work under, but ultimately the penalty was disqualification.

This means that the lead of the championship has changed for the first time this season, and di Grassi now goes into the final race with an 18-point advantage. As today proved though, every round of the FIA Formula E Championship is unpredictable, and with qualifying and a 37-lap race around the impressive Montreal circuit to come, the championship is far from decided.

Behind the intense battle for the podium, Abt was classified fourth, Bird following in fifth with the Renault e.dams driver Nicolas Prost rounding out the top six. Mitch Evans brought home a strong result for Panasonic Jaguar Racing in seventh, ahead of Andretti’s Robin Frijns and Rosenqvist’s Mahindra. Tom Dillmann would take home the final point for Venturi in tenth.

Lucas di Grassi said: “Today, we had our best day in Formula E. I stand here with 28 points at the right moment. So I think the secret is very easy, just keep it calm, try to do the best you can, try to motivate everyone around you, try to push them for the last two races of the championship. In Formula E it can go from good to bad with one decision, so you never know. Today we did the job, tomorrow is a completely different day, completely different environment but we are going to try to do the same as we did today.”

Jean-Eric Vergne said: “I’m so happy for the team and it was brilliant that Stephane was there with me [on the podium. We are getting stronger and stronger and it is a great sign for next season.

“I am very happy with this race I think it was a fantastic one. I’m very happy with this track, it’s amazing. I love the city and the atmosphere is amazing, there were a lot of fans that I could see under the Qualcomm Safety Car period, so a massive thank you to the city of Montreal and all the fans for coming and watching the race, I hope they enjoyed the show.

“As for my race, the start was a bit chaotic, I got hit on the outside and the inside, I lost quite a lot of positions and a lot of ground but I think the speed was absolutely amazing. I thought the car was just perfect and was able to push really hard. I was catching everyone in front, using less energy than them, so I think the strategy was really nice.”

Stephane Sarrazin said: “It’s amazing. I’m new in the team at TECHEETAH so to be back on the podium again is really good. In the race I was missing a bit of pace and JEV [Vergne] was flying and Lucas was really fast at the front. I saw Buemi coming in my mirrors, he braked really late. We were side by side and he touched me a bit, but it was the last lap and I had to defend my podium. I know he’s fighting for the title, but I had to give my best for the team.”

2017 Montreal ePrix (Rd 11) - Race results

  1. Lucas di Grassi, ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport, 56:55.592s (28)
  2. Jean-Eric Vergne, TECHEETAH, +0.350s (18)
  3. Stephane Sarrazin, TECHEETAH, +7.869s (15)
  4. Daniel Abt, ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport, +8.592s (12)
  5. Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing, +8.913s (10)
  6. Nico Prost, Renault e.dams, +10.058s (8)
  7. Mitch Evans, Panasonic Jaguar Racing, +10.457s (6)
  8. Robin Frijns, Andretti Formula E, +15.836s (4)
  9. Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing, +16.764s (2)
  10. Tom Dillmann, Venturi Formula E, +19.320s (1)
  11. Jerome D'Ambrosio, Faraday Future Dragon Racing, +20.229s
  12. Maro Engel, Venturi Formula E, +22.314s
  13. Nelson Piquet Jr, NextEV NIO, +23.145s
  14. Antonio Felix da Costa, Andretti Formula E, +34.786s
  15. Oliver Turvey, NextEV NIO, +46.996s
  16. Adam Carroll, Panasonic Jaguar Racing, +49.612s
  17. Loic Duval, Faraday Future Dragon Racing, DNF (1)
  18. Jose Maria Lopez, DS Virgin Racing, DNF
  19. Nick Heidfeld, Mahindra Racing, DNF
  20. Sebastien Buemi, Renault e.dams, DSQ

Driver standings

Lucas di Grassi, ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport - 175
Sebastien Buemi, Renault e.dams - 157
Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing - 110
Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing - 106
Jean-Eric Vergne, TECHEETAH - 92
Nico Prost, Renault e.dams - 92

Team standings

Renault e.dams - 267
ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport - 234
Mahindra Racing - 184
DS Virgin Racing - 163
NextEV NIO - 59
Andretti Formula E - 34
Faraday Future Dragon Racing - 31
Venturi Formula E - 29
Panasonic Jaguar Racing - 27

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Lucas di Grassi has today become the third different FIA Formula E Champion in as many seasons, overhauling a ten-point deficit to season-long leader Sebastien Buemi to win by 24 points after two flat-out races in Montreal.

The two title protagonists had polar opposite weekends, with the Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport driver di Grassi turning the tables with a near-faultless Round 11 whilst Renault e.dams’ Buemi never recovered from a run of bad luck which began with a big crash in practice on Saturdaymorning.

A measured drive to seventh place in today’s finale (Round 12) ensured that the Brazilian driver would be crowned champion.

“This journey started three years ago, when we started Season 1,” said di Grassi.

“We got a lot of good results, arrived in London fighting for the championship, even though I was disqualified from winning a race. Season 2, it was the same situation. Again I got disqualified from winning a race and now, finally, I came here as an underdog, 10 points behind and I had the nerves to keep it calm and did the job yesterday."

"And today, I managed to bring it home, I am so happy for the team, so happy for the Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport guys, they really deserve it. This season was our toughest I would say. I had to do one race with a broken fibula, I really had luck on my side in some races, Hong Kong and Mexico for example, so I guess this was our year and it is extremely satisfying and I am going to celebrate and party a lot tonight.”

After being drawn in qualifying Group 1, Buemi found himself on the back foot once more, and a mistake on his flying lap meant he started 13thgiving him an even bigger challenge in the race.

His tough weekend continued when he was involved in opening lap contact which, despite being minimal, damaged the right rear wheel guard. With the bodywork lose, the Renault e.dams driver was shown the black and orange flag, which indicates a mechanical problem. Buemi was instructed to pit for repairs, and as the part dislodged itself on-track, it took only a moment for the team to check the car before he was back on the track.

In typically determined fashion he fought his way back from 11th, but any hopes of the title were gone.

“I’m a bit disappointed, honestly,” said Buemi. “When you see the speed we had this year, to not win the championship is a bit hard to accept. But I’d like to congratulate Lucas for the job he’s done. I think he’s done a great job this year. They’ve done a better job than us, we got disqualified twice and we missed two races, so it’s difficult to fight like that.”

Up at the front, Felix Rosenqvist led the way after taking pole position. The Mahindra driver was running clear at the front, but he was also using more energy than Jean-Eric Vergne who was in second after jumping DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird at the start.

The Techeetah driver’s better energy consumption meant he was able to stop a lap later than Rosenqvist, but when he emerged from the mandatory car swap he was over six seconds behind. But with more energy to play with he soon closed that lead right down.

Rosenqvist, with an eye on third in the championship, was more concerned with beating Bird than getting into a battle with Vergne, and could not prevent the Frenchman’s charge. Once ahead, Vergne quickly established a lead that allowed him to bring home his and the team’s first Formula E win.

“It is an amazing result for the team in our first year,” he said. “We’ve had a few ups and downs. Obviously, a win was in reach many times this season but for some reason we could not quite get it, I think this weekend everything went quite smoothly, everything was perfect."

"To get this first win for the team, for myself, right at the end of the season before the summer break is something amazing. All the people who have worked so hard, it was nice to reward them with something like this. As for myself, to score my maiden win, as well as the first win of the team is only going to make my relationship with the team even stronger. Hopefully it is the first of many of them and I think it puts us in a completely different position for next year.”

After starting back in 11th, Jose Maria Lopez wasn’t thinking of a podium finish before the start of the race, but his DS Virgin Racing car was in flying form and he carved his way up the order. Making overtaking look easy on the fantastic Montreal Street Circuit, he ended his season on a high with his second podium and third place.

Bird bent his steering with an early brush with the wall, but was still able to take fourth, while Nick Heidfeld spent most of the race swapping places with the DS Virgin drivers before finally finishing fifth.

In the closing stages di Grassi backed off and allowed his team-mate Daniel Abt to retake the sixth place he had conceded to the new champ after the pitstops, while Sarrazin charged back up to eighth after his opening lap misfortune, which had also left him with suspension damage.

Jerome D’Ambrosio was ninth, Tom Dillmann was 10th, while Nico Prost picked up a point by setting the Visa Fastest Lap. This meant that Renault e.dams kept up its amazing record of having scored a point in every Formula E race but more importantly, that for the third season in a row it secured the Teams’ championship.

Alain Prost, co-team owner, said: “From myself and on behalf of the team I want to congratulate Jean-Eric Vergne on his first win and Lucas di Grassi on his first Championship.

I think he deserves to be Champion. During the last three years, he has been very consistent and we have a nice Champion, we must recognise that. We can be happy with a lot of points in the Constructors’ Championship and we thought it would be easier than this and in the end, it was not.”

The Montreal ePrix was a huge success, with packed grandstands, enthusiastic fans and a track that the drivers loved. The FIA Formula E Championship now embarks on a summer off-season, before bursting back into action with the Hong Kong ePrix, which kicks off Season 4 on December 2/3.

2017 Montreal ePrix (Round 12) - Race results

  1. Jean-Eric Vergne, TECHEETAH, 54:12.606s (25)
  2. Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing, +0.896s (21)
  3. Jose Maria Lopez, DS Virgin Racing, +4.468s (15)
  4. Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing, +7.114s (12)
  5. Nick Heidfeld, Mahindra Racing, +21.933s (10)
  6. Daniel Abt, ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport, +24.444s (8)
  7. Lucas di Grassi, ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport, +24.855s (6)
  8. Stephane Sarrazin, TECHEETAH, +26.038s (4)
  9. Jerome D'Ambrosio, Faraday Future Dragon Racing, +28.282s (2)
  10. Tom Dillmann, Venturi Formula E, +28.591s (1)
  11. Sebastien Buemi, Renault e.dams, +35.170s
  12. Mitch Evans, Panasonic Jaguar Racing, +36.548s
  13. Robin Frijns, Andretti Formula E, +36.826s
  14. Adam Carroll, Panasonic Jaguar Racing, +36.972s
  15. Antonio Felix da Costa, Andretti Formula E, +39.720s
  16. Nelson Piquet Jr, NextEV NIO, +46.751s
  17. Oliver Turvey, NextEV NIO, +49.116s
  18. Maro Engel, Venturi Formula E, +1:33.530s
  19. Loic Duval, Faraday Future Dragon Racing, 3 laps
  20. Nico Prost, Renault e.dams, DNF (1)

Driver standings

Lucas di Grassi, ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport – 181
Sebastien Buemi, Renault e.dams – 157
Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing – 127
Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing – 122
Jean-Eric Vergne, TECHEETAH – 117
Nico Prost, Renault e.dams - 93

Team standings

Renault e.dams – 268
ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport – 248
Mahindra Racing – 215
DS Virgin Racing – 190
NextEV NIO – 59
Andretti Formula E – 34
Faraday Future Dragon Racing – 33
Venturi Formula E – 30
Panasonic Jaguar Racing - 27

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Porsche has today revealed plans for a factory-backed works team to compete in the all-electric FIA Formula E Championship starting from season six in 2019/20, as part of a new strategy and realignment of the German manufacturer's existing motorsport programme.

The news comes to the detriment of the World Endurance Championship as the iconic sports car brand will end their involvement in the LMP1 category at the end of this season, leaving Toyota as the only manufacturer in that class.

However it is another massive show of trust in the ever-growing Formula E series, with Mercedes also announcing their arrival for season six earlier this week.

"Entering Formula E and achieving success in this category are the logical outcomes of our Mission E road car programme," Porsche board member Michael Steiner said.

"The growing freedom for in-house technology developments makes Formula E attractive to us.

"For us, Formula E is the ultimate competitive environment for driving forward the development of high performance vehicles in areas such as environmental friendliness, efficiency and sustainability."

Porsche is the second manufacturer to have quit the WEC to concentrate on the all-electric series in as many years as Audi also pulled the plug on their famed LMP1 program to increase their commitment with the ABT Schaeffler team from this season.

Commenting on another big name addition, Alejandro Agag, founder & CEO of Formula E, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Porsche to the FIA Formula E Championship. If somebody told me when we started this project five years ago, that we’d be announcing a partnership with a brand like Porsche, I wouldn’t have believed it.

"To have a name like Porsche in Formula E, with all it represents in terms of racing and heritage - and in terms of sport cars - is an inflexion point in our quest to change the public perception about electric cars. The electric revolution continues, and Formula E remains the championship for that revolution.”

FIA President Jean Todt, added: “Porsche is a brand which has a fantastic history in motorsport, and its intention to join the FIA Formula E Championship alongside so many of the world’s biggest car manufacturers is very positive.

"It’s clear that the hard work done to create a relevant laboratory for developing electric vehicle technologies has been successful, and I look forward to seeing Formula E continue to be a place of great sporting competition as well as innovation. I’m very happy that Porsche is coming to Formula E, but I regret their decision to leave the World Endurance Championship.”

Despite Todt's disappointment at the significant blow to the WEC, the vice-president of Porsche's LMP1 program, Fritz Enzinger, is sure the company can translate its success from the endurance series to Formula E.

"Building up the Le Mans team from scratch was a huge challenge," Enzinger admitted.

"Over the years, we have developed an incredibly successful and professional team.

"This will be our basis going forward. I am certain that we will maintain our high level in Formula E. Confidence is high, and we are excited to get started."

From season five, Formula E will no longer require two cars per driver and the potential of a mid-race car change. Each team will compete with two cars from the 2018/19 season onwards, instead of the current four, as a clear testament of the advancement in battery technology. New-look futuristic cars will also debut in season five and will incorporate new electric technology to allow for a single car to complete a full race distance.