DI GRASSI: "Formula E CAR is made in a very smart conjunction with the tracks"
One of Formula E's pioneers and winner of the first race shares with us how he joined the project and which Formula E circuit is his favorite.
Lucas, you were one of the first drivers to be associated with Formula E since its concept was presented. How did you decide to join Formula E?
- In the end of 2011, I started to realise that the road car will be fully electric. When I heard about Formula E, the series concepts of being a single seater, and electric racing car – it started making even more sense to me. Alejandro (Agag) invited me and I joined him to help creating Formula E. This was the main reason, a bet in a racing series which is now very successfull.
You were also the first winner in Formula E’s history, and you were a championship contender throughout the whole season. Could you describe to us how the first season looked from your perspective?
- Season one was very good, with similar cars and it was very constant to me. I was on the podium 10 times in 14 races – and it would be 12 times and the title if there weren’t the suspension failure in Buenos Aires while I was leading and the desclassification in Berlin. I have an outstanding team with me, they did a great job last season and also in this one. Now it is just a matter to keep the evolution pace.
A win and two second places into the first season, and we see you in second position in the championship behind Buemi. ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport team seems to have done quite a good job over the winter. How do you comment on the preseason and the first three races?
- We had a good winter and the team made a great option in this new fase with the motor, gearbox and driveshaft made by the teams. We can see the evolution, but we got to work harder to catch the Renault guys.
During your racing career, you were a test driver for Pirelli in F1. Can you tell us something about your duties when working with F1’s main tyre supplier?
- I’ve been in 12 test sessions during that year and I was focused on tyre development for their first season in F1. The experience I gathered during the years as a Renault test driver was usefull. It was a productive year, I had learnt a lot and I have used more than 100 sets of tyres – and when you’re a racing driver, it’s like a dream. There were very productive days of testing.
In comparison to other cars you have driven so far in your career, how is it like to drive a Formula E car?
- It is definitively slower than an F1 or na LMP1 car, but at the same time it is made in a very smart conjunction with the tracks, which are shorter and more difficult to race in Formula E. The combination of the car with the tracks, besides the little time of testing, turned Formula E in a difficult series to be in and, mostly, to be competitive in. That is why some high-leveled drivers have had some difficulties.
Which circuit did you enjoy driving most in your Formula E career so far?
- Buenos Aires, because it’s very fast and wide.