Di Grassi gets 10 place grid penalty ahead of race in Santiago

After a disastrous start to the season, largely due to technical issues, reigning champion and Audi Sport Abt Shaeffler driver Lucas di Grassi currently sits at the bottom of the standings with zero points after three rounds. Adding to his woes, today was the news of a 10 place grid penalty, which will take effect on the starting grid of the race in Santiago de Chile on Saturday 3 February.

Following the race in Marrakesh last month, where di Grassi retired after just seven laps, Audi has taken the decision to change the inverter on one of his cars.

In doing this, di Grassi automatically incurs a 10- place grid penalty, after the team already used its penalty-free change in Marrakesh.

“We got to the bottom of the issues we had in Marrakesh,” says Team Principal Allan McNish.

"We reproduced the problem on our test bench but the component is sealed by the FIA and so we were not in a position to fix it without incurring a penalty.”

Already, di Grassi sits 54 points behind championship leader Felix Rosenqvist and with just eight rounds to go after Santiago until the season finale in New York, di Grassi has a great deal of catching up to do.