How di Grassi's rollercoaster London weekend ended in victory

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How di Grassi's rollercoaster London weekend ended in victory

How di Grassi's rollercoaster London weekend ended in victory

For one of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship's longest-serving drivers, the double-header in London was a mixed bag. Bitter disappointment on Saturday in Round 13 was soon followed by victory on Sunday as Lucas di Grassi became the most successful driver in the Championship's history. Here's how it all unfolded. 

"Yesterday, the performance was there and we managed to go through the group session and then the disappointment came when the penalty hit and the consequence was starting last," said ROKiT Venturi's Lucas di Grassi after winning Round 14 in London. "Even with a five-second penalty, it was a great day yesterday in terms of pace. We changed the car today we learned from yesterday - we were very fast again in the groups and the Duels. 

Despite a solid performance in his Qualifying group, di Grassi had his lap times deleted for impeding Jaguar TCS Racing's Mitch Evans and Envision Racing's Robin Frijns, relegating him to the back of the grid for Saturday's race start. Climbing up through the pack during the race, di Grassi also had five seconds added to his race time for causing a collision with Frijns during the race, which saw him demoted to 12th.  


Back in contention by Sunday, di Grassi put in another solid Qualifying performance, which put him second on the grid for the last race in London, on the shoulder of Avalanche Andretti's Jake Dennis. With the British driver in his sights, di Grassi held tight, biding his time to take the lead. 

"I think Jake (Dennis) had an edge on me in a single lap but I think we've we found a good compromise with the car setup today. From the second ATTACK MODE onwards, I think Jake started to slide a bit at the rear. I could feel that and I was just trying to keep the pressure there. 


"The intention was to just stay close and close the gap, and then try to gain a position when we exchanged positions during ATTACK MODE," explained di Grassi. "When Jake used the third ATTACK MODE, I was informed we had very similar energy levels and I suspected that he would struggle because of the tyres - everyone's grip was going down. The track is slow - it's the slowest average of the year - but it's very energy dense for the tyres because of the grip level. "Then my worry turned to relief because we had more energy - about one percent more - and I did what I had to get ahead. Then I managed to overcome a small gap, which was enough to finish the race. So it was a great fight and a great race." 


With 995 points and 13 wins to his name, gained from his 98 Formula E races, Lucas di Grassi is the most decorated driver in the Championship's history in terms of victories. By the end of the season, the former Champion will be on his 100th race and - he hopes - over 1000 points in his all-electric racing career. "It's amazing - it's been a long, eight years and I can just be proud of Formula E and where we started, where we are and the future," he said. 


"I'm very close to 1000 points now. The main target this year is, of course, for Venturi to win the Team's Championship - that's how I can help the most. 

"Second to that is to see where I can get the most victories, podiums and points. One great statistic would be 1000 points in my 100th race in Soeul - we can definitely fight for that."