Audi E-tron FE05 #11 (Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler), Lucas Di Grassi

Di Grassi takes pole with “perfect lap” but loses his best time for new rule

Brazilian put half a second on the closest opponent in his best lap in F-E


Despite a spectacular feat, Lucas Di Grassi could not celebrate his excellent performance during the third round of the Formula E World Championship, held this Saturday (26) in Santiago, the capital of Chile. After dominating his first free practice and being among the fastest in the second session, Lucas surprised his opponents by setting a lap half a second faster than second-placed Sébastien Buemi. The lap, however, was cancelled after qualifying because of a bureaucratic issue, which was also a surprise in the paddock: according to the stewards, Lucas over used the brakes on his return to the garage after Q2 – a new rule that was announced for the teams only the night before the day of the race.

“I did my time and went back to the garage normally. But this new rule says that during the lap-in to the pits, which is worth nothing, you cannot use the brake more than you did on your fast lap. It’s something new and out of context for the pole position fight. Then everyone on the team was surprised and upset, “says Lucas. “I was especially upset that it was a very good lap, maybe the best of my F-E career, and I was proud to get that margin in front of such a strong grid. It is a shame. But the good thing is that we have achieved a good deal of development in the car and I think in Mexico we will be very competitive. The championship is still very open and last year we showed what we can do starting from the fourth race with zero points and reaching the runner-up title. Everything is still possible, we will do our best, “said the Brazilian.

With the penalty, Lucas started from 22nd (last) and made a recovery race. The difficulties of overtaking caused by dirt on the track, however, prevented further progress. But even so, the Brazilian crossed the finish line in ninth – an excellent result. The direction of the race, however, imposed to Lucas an extra punishment, due to an involuntary touch with the Argentine Jose “Pechito” Lopez. “It was unintentional. We had a yellow flag for the removal of a car from the track, and I was close to Pechito’s car. But he slowed down too suddenly, and I could not help it. I apologize to him, but this was a race accident, something unintentional, “said Lucas, who finished the race in 12th place after this second penalty.

The next round of Formula E will be held on February 16 in Mexico.