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Lucas di Grassi
Di Grassi
Driver Details
Nationality Brazil Brazilian
Date of Birth 11 August 1984[1]
Date of Death Unknown
Début 2014 Beijing ePrix
Championships 1 (2016/17)
Wins 8
First Win 2014 Beijing ePrix
Former Teams Unknown
Formula E Career
Total Entries 45 (45 Starts)
Poles 3
Fastest Laps 3
Total Points 467
FanBoosts 24
Current Season
Team Germany Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler
Number Standings Points
1 2nd 144

Lucas di Grassi, born 11 August 1984, is a Brazilian racing driver, whom competed in the 2017/18 FIA Formula E Championship with Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler.[1] A title contender in the first two Formula E seasons, di Grassi has consistently proved to be one of the fastest FE drivers, only denied the 2015/16 title on a fastest lap score at the 2016 London ePrix II.[2]

After the disappointment of season two, di Grassi would go one better during the 2016/17 campaign, snatching the title from Sébastien Buemi at the season finale in Montreal.[3] Indeed, a consistent season for di Grassi would be enough to see him overhaul the Swiss racer in the final four races of the season, with the defending Champion failing to score at all in North America.

Ahead of the 2017/18 season, di Grassi was confirmed as lead driver of the newly renamed Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team once again, and would use #1 as his race number.[4] The Brazilian also revealed that he had become a CEO of the Roborace support series, due to his personal interest in autonomous vehicles.[5]

BackgroundEdit

Di Grassi began his career in karting in 1994, taking championship victories in Brazil from 1997.[1] Di Grassi then moved up to Formula Three, competing in the South American, British and Euro series in the space of three years.[1] After four seasons in GP2 (taking a best championship finish of third), di Grassi became the second driver at Virgin Racing in Formula One, beating Timo Glock in the 2010 championship.[1]

After becoming a Pirelli test driver, Audi Sport employed di Grassi for their endurance programme.[1] After a season in the FIA World Endurance Championship, di Grassi claimed a podium on his 24 Hours of Le Mans debut in 2013, before becoming involved in Audi Sport ABT's Formula E team.[1] Di Grassi had previously agreed to become the official development driver for the Formula E series, but withdrew when it became clear he would not be able to compete.

Formula E HistoryEdit

Audi Sport ABT announced that di Grassi and Daniel Abt would be driving for them in the inaugural championship season.[1] Di Grassi impressed in the series early on, taking fastest in the second test at Donington Park in early July.[1] He followed an impressive pre-season by claiming victory in the first ever ePrix, benefiting from a last corner crash between Nicholas Prost and Nick Heidfeld.[6] He was a frequent podium visitor until the 2015 Buenos Aires ePrix, where he suffered a suspension failure while leading.[7]

It took until the 2015 Miami ePrix before some one other than di Grassi led the championship, with Prost taking victory to take a seven point lead, with half the season remaining. It was only a brief loss, however, as di Grassi returned to the summit of the table in Long Beach, which he reinforced with a second place in the 2015 Monaco ePrix.[8]

Di Grassi's season then took a turn for the worse, when his win in Berlin was struck off the record with a disqualification.[9] Having won impressively from Jérôme d'Ambrosio, di Grassi's car was found to have a modified (although Audi Sport ABT claimed it had been repaired) front wing, and hence the scrutineers excluded him.[9] A podium in Moscow brought di Grassi solidly into the title fight, although he became the outsider after the First London ePrix.[10] He then missed out on the title by finishing sixth at the season finale, after Nelson Piquet Jr. finished seventh on the road, despite starting well behind di Grassi.[10]

Aggressive OddsEdit

Having been resigned by ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport along with Daniel Abt for 2015/16, di Grassi proceeded to set a new circuit record at the 2015 Donington Test as the teams unveiled their first creations.[11] Yet, his testing form was not enough to beat Sébastien Buemi at the season opening round in Beijing, where the Brazilian had to settle for second.[12] Yet, when Buemi hit problems in Putrajaya, di Grassi was able to take full advantage and inherit the win, leaving him at the top of the standings.[13]

The Brazilian was not to moved from the summit of the Championship over the following two rounds, scoring two more podiums, before the field arrived in Mexico City. An excellent display by di Grassi saw him wrestle victory away from pole sitter d'Ambrosio just before the first stop, before romping away in the second half of the race.[14] Unfortunately, the race officials failed di Grassi's car in post-race scrutineering having deemed the car to be underweight, meaning the Brazilian was disqualified from the race and lost the lead in the Championship.[15]

ABT Schaeffler decided against appealing the decision, and it would take determined performances from di Grassi at the Long Beach and Paris ePrix for the Brazilian to get back on top.[16] Victories in both of those races left di Grassi with an eleven point lead over Buemi, although that was cut to just a single point when the Swiss racer claimed victory at the 2016 Berlin ePrix.[17] Into the season ending double header in London, di Grassi knew he had the advantage in terms of wins, but momentum was just beginning to swing in favour of his Swiss rival once again.

The first round in London saw di Grassi open the gap back up to three points, both drivers having to battle through the order after getting their qualifying performances ruined by rain.[18] Buemi then proceeded to take pole for the final race of the season, those three points leaving the pair tied on 153 points, but with di Grassi ahead by virtue of having more third places.[19] Yet the real drama was to come during the race, with di Grassi misjudging the closing speed on the opening lap and duly slammed into the back of Buemi, seemingly taking both out of the race.[2]

Whether through accident or intention, it seemed as if di Grassi had won the title, until they both limped into the pits and changed to their second cars.[2] The pair were now engaged in a tense duel to set fastest lap, with di Grassi trying to get ahead of Buemi and block the Swiss racer to deny him the chance.[2] Ultimately, the Swiss racer found a gap behind teammate Prost and set fastest lap to leave di Grassi two points shy of the title, and with a penalty for causing the first lap accident.[2]

Rebuilds and RevengeEdit

For 2016/17, ABT Schaeffler decided to partner di Grassi and Abt once again, with the duo getting their first chance to test the new ABT Schaeffler FE02.[20] The new car saw di Grassi better his circuit record at the 2016 Donington Test, but he would fall just shy of the ultimate pace set by rival Buemi on the final day.

It was a similar story for di Grassi at the start of the season, with the Brazilian losing out to arch-rival Buemi at the season opener in Hong Kong.[21] Indeed, Buemi's form carried into the following two rounds, while di Grassi only a recorded a single podium finish, although he would manage to stop the rot in Mexico City.[22] It would be a stunning display from di Grassi in the Mexican capital, as the Brazilian recorded a memorable victory from the back of the field, an early car change ultimately paying off.[22]

Momentum shifted back to Buemi for the following two rounds, with di Grassi even recording his only non-finish of the season at the 2017 Paris ePrix.[23] A double podium for di Grassi followed in the 2017 Berlin ePrix double header, with Buemi taking both wins, only to be disqualified from the first race for being underweight.[24] This, combined with the fact that Buemi would miss the following double header in New York, opened the door for di Grassi to challenge, although only if he could make a dent in Buemi's then 32 point lead.

In New York, di Grassi largely failed to really make much progress into the Swiss racer's lead, failing to finish on the podium in either race, although the gap was down to ten points.[25] However, Buemi's return to the field in Montreal only served to ignite di Grassi, who claimed a dominant victory from pole position, a first for himself to take the lead in the Championship.[26] Furthermore, with Buemi disqualified from the race, it was di Grassi would had the best shot at the title heading into the finale, holding an eighteen point advantage into the final day.

Indeed, only a top two finish for Buemi, with di Grassi failing to score at all, would be enough for the Swiss racer in the final race of the season, but it was not to be.[27] Indeed, both would be running in the lower end of the points when the chequered flag fluttered to end the season, both suffering from a poor qualifying performance earlier in the day.[27] Regardless, a jubilant di Grassi was crowned as Champion at the end of the day, with the biggest winning margin in FE's short history.

The DefenderEdit

Audi e-tron FE04

Di Grassi's title defence was to be at the wheel of the Audi e-tron FE04.

Di Grassi's title defence was announced during the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler 2017/18 season launch in Neuberg, Germany in September 2017.[4] The launch confirmed that di Grassi would use #1 as his race number, with the Brazilian partnered by Abt for a fourth consecutive season.[4] Unfortunately while the new Audi e-tron FE04 was quick, di Grassi would fail to score at the season opening race in Hong Kong after his car shut down mid-race.[28]

Another partial failure would cost di Grassi more points in the second Hong Kong E-Prix, before he retired completely in Marrakech as a new inverter failed shortly before the car-swap.[29] The replacement inverter, installed ahead of the Santiago E-Prix would fare little better, with di Grassi retiring from the race once again having started at the back.[30] Indeed, it took di Grassi until the fifth race of the season in Mexico City to finally score some points, with the Brazilian setting the fastest lap as teammate Abt claimed victory.[31]

That result seemed to kick-start Audi's entire season, with di Grassi fighting for victory in a late race duel with Jean-Éric Vergne in Punta del Este, ultimately missing out on victory by a few car lengths.[32] The Brazilian then inherited second in Rome, before claiming a third straight second place on the final lap in Paris after a bruising battle with André Lotterer.[33] The Brazilian would finish second once again in Audi's home race in 2018 Berlin E-Prix, this time a few seconds behind dominant teammate Abt, whom claimed pole, victory and fastest lap.[34]

What followed was arguably di Grassi's best performance of the season, with the Brazilian fighting Mitch Evans for the lead in Zürich, before going on to claim a historic, and crushing, victory.[35] The Brazilian racer then stole victory away from teammate Abt in New York City, with an overly aggressive move on his teammate ultimately causing the Audi team to enforce team orders to claim another one-two.[36] di Grassi would then round out the season with his fifth second place of the campaign, albeit after a race long duel with newly crowned Champion Vergne for victory.[37] That result did, however, ensure that Audi won the Teams Championship, and leave di Grassi in second in the Championship at the end of the campaign.[37]

Audi Auspiciousness?Edit

Both di Grassi and Abt would be retained by the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler squad for a fifth straight season in 2018/19, with the duo continuing to serve as Audi factory drivers both in FE and elsewhere.[38]

Full Formula E RecordEdit

Shown below are a series of tables outlining Lucas di Grassi's career in Formula E in statistical form.

Formula E EntriesEdit

The list below includes all of the teams and cars, as well as overall finishing positions for Lucas di Grassi during their FE career:

Lucas di Grassi's Overall Formula E Record
Year Entrant No. Car Pos. Pts.
2014/15 Germany Audi Sport ABT 11 Spark-Renault SRT_01E 3rd 133
2015/16 Germany ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport 11 ABT Schaeffler FE01 2nd 153
2016/17 Germany ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport 11 ABT Schaeffler FE02 1st 181
2017/18 Germany Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler 1 Audi e-tron FE04 2nd 144
2018/19 Germany Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler[38] 11 Audi e-tron FE05

Career ResultsEdit

Below is a table showing Lucas di Grassi's full Formula E record.

FIA Formula E Championship Record
Year Rounds Pos. Pts.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2014/15 Flag of China Flag of Malaysia Flag of Uruguay Flag of Argentina Flag of the United States Flag of the United States Flag of Monaco Flag of Germany Flag of Russia Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of the United Kingdom 3rd 133
1st 2nd 3rd Ret 9th 3rd 2nd DSQ 2nd 4th 6th
2015/16 Flag of China Flag of Malaysia Flag of Uruguay Flag of Argentina Flag of Mexico Flag of the United States Flag of France Flag of Germany Flag of Russia Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of the United Kingdom 2nd 153
2nd 1st 2nd 3rd DSQ 1st 1st 3rd CAN 4th Ret
2016/17 Flag of Hong Kong Flag of Morocco Flag of Argentina Flag of Mexico Flag of Monaco Flag of France Flag of Germany Flag of Germany Flag of the United States Flag of the United States Flag of Canada Flag of Canada 1st 181
2nd 5th 3rd 1st 2nd Ret 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 1st 7th
2017/18 Flag of Hong Kong Flag of Hong Kong Flag of Morocco Flag of Chile Flag of Mexico Flag of Uruguay Flag of Italy Flag of France Flag of Germany Flag of Switzerland Flag of the United States Flag of the United States 2nd 144
17th 14th Ret Ret 9th 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 1st 1st 2nd

ReferencesEdit

Videos and Images:

References:

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 'Drivers' Club: Lucas di Grassi', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 2015), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/drivers-club/lucas-di-grassi.aspx, (Accessed 04/07/2015)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 'BUEMI WINS TITLE AFTER SPECTACULAR FINALE: VISA FASTEST LAP ENDS UP DECIDING THE 2015/16 FIA FORMULA E CHAMPIONSHIP', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 03/07/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/july/buemi-wins-title-after-spectacular-finale/, (Accessed 04/07/2016)
  3. 'Champion di Grassi crowned at Montreal Gala', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 31/07/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/july/champion-di-grassi-crowned-at-montreal-gala/, (Accessed 01/08/2017)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 'Audi unveils e-tron FE04', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 27/09/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/september/audi-unveils-e-tron-fe04/, (Accessed 27/09/2017)
  5. 'Formula E champion di Grassi becomes Roborace CEO', motorsport.com, (Motorsport Network, 13/09/2017), https://www.motorsport.com/roborace/news/formula-e-champion-di-grassi-becomes-roborace-ceo-952406/, (Accessed 22/09/2017)
  6. 'Lucas di Grassi snatches win after dramatic last corner crash', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 13/09/2014), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2014/september/lucas-di-grassi-snatches-win-after-dramatic-last-corner-crash.aspx, (Accessed 30/04/2015)
  7. 'Da Costa wins spectacular Buenos Aires ePrix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 10/01/2015), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/january/antonio-felix-da-costa-wins-chaotic-buenos-aires-eprix.aspx, (Accessed 30/04/2015)
  8. 'Poleman Buemi doubles up', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 09/05/2015), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/may/poleman-buemi-doubles-up.aspx, (Accessed 09/05/2015)
  9. 9.0 9.1 'Di Grassi excluded from DHL Berlin ePrix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 23/05/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/may/di-grassi-excluded-from-dhl-berlin-eprix.aspx, (Accessed 23/05/2015)
  10. 10.0 10.1 'Bird hails ‘unbelievable’ end to season', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 28/06/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/june/bird-hails-unbelievable-end-to-season.aspx, (Accessed 30/06/2015)
  11. 'Formula E championship leader Lucas di Grassi extends Abt deal', autosport.com (Haymarket Media, 07/05/2015), http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/118829, (Accessed 08/05/2015)
  12. 'Buemi to the max in Beijing', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 24/10/2015),http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/october/buemi-wins-swusp-beijing-eprix.aspx, (Accessed 25/10/2015)
  13. 'Di Grassi keeps his cool to win in Putrajaya', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 07/11/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/november/di-grassi-keeps-his-cool-to-win-in-putrajaya.aspx, (Accessed 22/11/2015)
  14. 'Fans power di Grassi to marvellous Mexico victory', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 12/03/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/march/fans-power-di-grassi-to-marvellous-mexico-victory.aspx, (Accessed 19/03/2016)
  15. 'Di Grassi stripped of Mexico win', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 12/03/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/march/di-grassi-stripped-of-mexico-win.aspx, (Accessed 13/03/2016)
  16. 'Di Grassi triumphant in Paris', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 23/04/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/april/di-grassi-wins-visa-paris-eprix/, (Accessed 23/04/2016)
  17. 'Buemi win cuts di Grassi's lead to just one point', fiaformula.com, (FIA Formula E, 21/05/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/may/buemi-win-cuts-di-grassi-s-lead-to-just-one-point/, (Accessed 21/05/2016)
  18. 'BUEMI AND DI GRASSI CHARGE UP THE ORDER, BUT IT’S PROST WHO LEADS THE WAY', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 02/07/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/july/prost-wins-in-style-as-di-grassi-inches-closer-to-title/, (Accessed 03/07/2016)
  19. 'BUEMI TAKES POLE TO LEVEL UP POINTS STANDINGS: DI GRASSI TO START THIRD BEHIND BOTH RENAULT E.DAMS', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 03/07/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/july/buemi-takes-pole-to-level-up-points-standings/, (Accessed 04/07/2016)
  20. 'ABT retains drivers for season three', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 20/05/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/may/abt-retains-drivers-for-season-three/, (Accessed 20/05/2016)
  21. 'Buemi holds on in Hong Kong', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 09/10/2016), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/october/buemi-holds-on-in-hong-kong/, (Accessed 09/10/2016)
  22. 22.0 22.1 'Di Grassi produces masterpiece in Mexico', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 01/04/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/april/di-grassi-produces-masterpiece-in-mexico/, (Accessed 02/04/2017)
  23. 'Buemi hands Renault e.dams emotional Paris win', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 20/05/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/may/buemi-hands-renault-edams-emotional-paris-win/, (Accessed 21/05/2017)
  24. 'Red hot Rosenqvist hands Mahindra first win', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 10/06/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/june/red-hot-rosenqvist-hands-mahindra-first-win/, (Accessed 16/06/2017)
  25. 'Bird flies high with New York double', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 16/07/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/july/bird-flies-high-with-new-york-double/, (Accessed 17/07/2017)
  26. 'Di Grassi wins, Buemi disqualified', fiaformuale.com, (FIA Formula E, 29/07/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/july/di-grassi-wins-buemi-disqualified/, (Accessed 30/07/2017)
  27. 27.0 27.1 'Vergne victorious, Di Grassi wins title', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 30/07/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/july/vergne-victorious-di-grassi-wins-title/, (Accessed 30/07/2017)
  28. 'Bird clinches victory in Hong Kong', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 02/12/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/december/bird-clinches-victory-in-hong-kong/, (Accessed 16/12/2017)
  29. 'Rosenqvist victorious in 2018 ABB FIA Formula E Marrakesh E-Prix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 13/01/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/january/rosenqvist-victorious-in-2018-abb-fia-formula-e-marrakesh-e-prix/, (Accessed 13/01/2018)
  30. 'Vergne steals the show in epic Santiago E-Prix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 03/02/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/february/vergne-steals-the-show-in-epic-santiago-e-prix/, (Accessed 03/02/2018)
  31. 'Abt finally clinches first victory in Mexico City', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 03/03/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/march/abt-finally-clinches-first-victory-in-mexico-city/, (Accessed 04/03/2018)
  32. 'JEV holds off di Grassi in battle for Punta del Este', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 17/03/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/march/jev-holds-off-di-grassi-in-battle-for-punta-del-este/, (Accessed 17/03/2018)
  33. 'Fairytale ending for home race hero Vergne in Paris', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 28/04/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/april/fairytale-ending-for-home-race-hero-vergne-in-paris/, (Accessed 29/04/2018)
  34. 'Abt leads Audi one-two win at home race in Berlin', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 19/05/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/may/abt-leads-audi-one-two-win-at-home-race-in-berlin/, (Accessed 19/05/2018)
  35. 'Di Grassi clinches first season victory in historic Swiss race', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 10/06/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/june/di-grassi-clinches-first-season-victory-in-historic-swiss-race/, (Accessed 11/06/2018)
  36. 'Di Grassi victorious as Vergne clinches championship crown', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 14/07/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/july/di-grassi-victorious-as-vergne-clinches-championship-crown/, (Accessed 15/07/2018)
  37. 37.0 37.1 'Champion Vergne victorious as Audi scoops the teams' title in New York finale', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 15/07/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/july/champion-vergne-victorious-as-audi-scoops-the-teams-title-in-new-york-finale/, (Accessed 16/07/2018)
  38. 38.0 38.1 'Daniel Abt confirmes drive with Audi in Season 5', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 09/06/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/june/daniel-abt-confirmes-drive-with-audi-in-season-5/, (Accessed 09/06/2018)