17 Sep 12

Formula E appoints Lucas di Grassi as test driver

Lucas di Grassi has been appointed as the official development driver for the new Formula E electric racing series.

Formula E is a new FIA championship for electric cars, and is scheduled to start in 2014. Brazilian driver di Grassi has driven the championship''s prototype car, which is designed by Formulec, near Paris.

"Formula E is the future of racing," said ex-Formula 1 racer di Grassi, who is also currently a test driver for Pirelli. "Both the top speed and acceleration of the cars were great and I believe this car will reach even higher levels of performance levels in years to come. The Formula E prototype is a racing car. The car isn''t easy to drive, and it will be a great challenge to race it on the streets.

"One of the most striking things when you drive the prototype is the noise. There is sound, lower than combustion cars and of a different nature, a futuristic sound. The aero noise can be heard very clearly at high speeds too, it is a completely new experience. I believe this will change the perception of people regarding electric cars."

A consortium of investors have been placed in charge of the series'' commercial rights by the FIA, including Addax GP2 team owner Alejandro Agag.

"For the championship, it is extremely important to have a driver like Lucas di Grassi working with us," said Agag. "He is probably the most experienced development driver in motor sport. His input is extremely valuable as having fast and reliable cars is the biggest challenge we face as a championship. His knowledge and experience is also key as we visit potential host cities for races. To have a driver''s point of view is crucial when selecting the area within the city that will host the race."