Tag Archives: di Grassi

Three interesting stories from the Mexico City ePrix

Lucas Di Grassi went from last to first
Lucas di Grassi took an amazing victory in Mexico thanks to an unusual strategy and some brilliant tactical driving. Di Grassi dropped to last place after sustaining damage on lap 1 so his team took a risk that required Lucas to use roughly 20% less electrical energy than his rivals. They took a ‘free’ pitstop when the safety car bunched the field before half distance, and although this gifted Di Grassi the lead when everyone else stopped later in the race, it meant he had to make his battery last 28 laps (when it was only expected to last 23-24 laps). It was a seemingly impossible task, but he saved plenty under yellow flags, changed his racing lines and coasted off the throttle wherever possible. It was a masterful performance of economical driving whilst the field nipped at his heels.

Di Grassi was lucky that Jerome d’Ambrosio was acting as a buffer in 2nd place holding up cars behind him. That was a huge assistance but it also helped illustrate how brilliant Di Grassi’s drive was. D’Ambrosio was on the same strategy and was lapping around the same pace, but started falling down the order with three laps to go and ran out of juice completely on the last lap. Lucas di Grassi had enough battery life remaining for burnouts on his way to the podium.

Abt Audi Sport failed scrutineering yet again
Daniel Abt had pole position stripped from him in Mexico after his car was found with tyre pressures too low for the regulations. It was likely an innocent mistake, but it is the third time the Abt Audi Sport team has been penalised for failing scrutineering. Lucas di Grassi lost a win in season 1 when his team illegally modified the front wing and he lost another win in Season 2 when the car was underweight. Those disqualifications cost the team two championships so you would expect they’d now be extra vigilant about complying with the regulations, but surprisingly that wasn’t the case.

Sebastien Buemi made another costly mistake.
Sebastien Buemi has dominated the current Formula E season but had a difficult weekend in Mexico with a scrappy qualifying session and a costly spin during the race. It threw some light on the suggestion that, whilst Buemi is very quick, he makes a lot of mistakes. Depending how you count them (and how harsh you want to be in judgement) Sebastien Buemi has made 15 mistakes in 25 races which is a very high number for the category’s most successful driver. Some of those errors have had no consequence – he ran off the road twice during the first Punta del Este ePrix which he still won – whilst some of those arguably cost him the first championship.

Buemi’s Formula E stats are way ahead of any other driver, but the number of mistakes against his name remains an ongoing weakness.

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The final race of the Formula E season produced brilliant drama

  • The title contenders, Lucas Di Grassi and Sebastien Buemi, were tied on points in a perfect winner-takes-all scenario. Incredibly, they crashed on lap 1 in a championship defining moment.
  • Formula E offers bonus points for fastest laps which meant both drivers returned to the pits, got into their second cars, and treated the race like a qualifying session. Their laptimes, not their finishing positions, would then decide the championship winner.
  • Buemi did enough to win the Formula E title having lost it by a single point in the final race last year. It would’ve been cruel had that happened to him again.

 

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FE: A bitter rivalry has emerged in Formula E

Lucas di Grassi and Nelson Piquet Junior are fighting for the inaugural Formula E Championship and with four races to go their rivalry has grown increasingly bitter. Piquet accused di Grassi of blocking him during qualifying at Monaco and since that point the following war of words has played out between the two:

Lucas di Grassi

“The way I approach racing, I don’t complain, I do my job. Nelson has been complaining a lot.”

“I don’t think he (Piquet) is the strongest rival. He has just had a good run in the last few races.”

Nelson Piquet Junior

“We have raced together in many series and I have always been in front of him, there is no comparison.”

“Since we raced together, Lucas has never really fought for a championship before. He has always been close but never there.”

“I’ve won championships in Brazil, national go karts, F3 championships. I’ve won championships in England, British F3, so I think he (di Grassi) is the least of my worries.”

Di Grassi was disqualified from the latest race in Berlin, handing the championship lead to Piquet.

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