Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler has confirmed that Lucas di Grassi and Rene Rast will comprise its driver line-up for the 2020/21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.
Di Grassi is heading into his seventh Formula E season with Audi, and is one of the championship's most successful drivers, having completed 69 races, bagged a record 796 points and 32 trips up the podium steps - including 10 race wins.
Among those victories was the first ever in Formula E, back in Beijing in 2014, and he's among a select few drivers to have competed in every race in the electric street-racing championship's six seasons to-date.
The 2016/17 Formula E champion was one of only three full-time drivers to have finished every race in 2019/20 on the way to sixth in the Drivers' table - his first finish outside the Drivers' standings top three. His race-pace and combative style netted him the most progress of any driver, though, at just over six positions gained per race.
Qualifying was a thorn in the side for Audi through Season 6, and limited the Brazilian to two visits to the rostrum, but di Grassi and Audi are aiming to iron out the creases with a comprehensive off-season's testing, and have their sights on top honours in Season 7.
“I have experienced everything in these six years: great successes, defeats, insane emotions, and the best is yet to come, because the start-up from back then is now turning into an FIA World Championship,” said di Grassi. “Together with Audi and Rene, I will give everything in 2021 to have a say in the fight for the World Championship title.”
Rene Rast arrived on the scene for Berlin and immediately impressed, securing 29 points and a maiden podium in Round 10, showcasing a elbows-out, combative style to make a last-lap pass on Andre Lotterer (TAG Heuer Porsche) stick for his first Formula E silverware.
The double German touring car champion, and current DTM standings leader heading into the finale at Hockenheim, clearly left a lasting impression upon Audi's management, and Rast is eager to get his first full Formula E campaign underway.
“With his impressive performances in Berlin, Rene proved that he feels comfortable in Formula E and at the same time is also fast and successful. He has absolutely earned his place in our Formula E team,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass.
“For me, it was extremely important to have two drivers who push each other to peak performance. With Lucas and Rene, we have succeeded in doing this brilliantly. Lucas is the most successful driver in the field and extremely hungry to win his second title. Rene has already left an impressive mark in Berlin. We are enjoying his determination year after year in the DTM. I am already looking forward to experiencing it in Formula E.
“The races in Berlin have definitely whetted my appetite for more, so I’m now looking forward to my first full season in Formula E,” added Rast. “Starting in this World Championship for Audi is the next exciting chapter in my career and I am really looking forward to it.”
Published on 27th October 2020