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2018-04-10 15:29

Image: AFP / Rolf Vennenbernd

Paris - Ex-Formula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg has become a shareholder in FormulaE and will give the electric series' Gen2 car its first public spin in Berlin next month, organisers announced on Tuesday.

Rosberg has taken a keen interest in the green grand prix series since retiring abruptly after seeing off his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton for the 2016 F1 drivers crown.

'Long believed in Formula E'

"I've become very interested in the e-mobility movement and its potential to positively impact our society and our planet," said the Monaco-based German.

"I've therefore also long believed in the potential of Formula E and came on board as an investor some time ago."

Rosberg will get behind the wheel of FormulaE's new flagship model which has almost double the energy storage capacity of the existing model before the Berlin leg of the 2018 FormulaE championship on May 19.

Formula E, the world's first electric racing series, was launched in Beijing in 2014 and the technology is still evolving.

Up to now, even in a race that only lasts 50 minutes, drivers have had to swap cars halfway because their batteries won't go the distance.

"It's a very special moment to see a new car running for the first time in public and it requires an equally special name to have that honour," said Formula E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag in a statement.

"To see a name like Rosberg taking the wheel of the Gen2 car in front of the German fans in Berlin is a great moment for the series."

Rosberg took to Twitter to tell his followers: "let's rock Berlin!!! will be driving the @FIAFormulaE#Gen2 car at the #BerlinEPrix next month. let's see if I still got it..."

Agag described Rosberg as "an incredible ambassador for world motorsport and a champion", suggesting the retired F1 star's participation was "another fantastic endorsement" for FormulaE.

Now in its fourth season Formula E comprises 10 teams of 20 drivers competing in 10 races in major cities around the world.

Brazilian Lucas di Grassi is the reigning FormulaE world champion.

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