Di Grassi got great results at Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez
Few times the victory in a race was called a masterpiece. For Lucas Di Grassi, this was the case of the 2017 e-Prix of Mexico, when the Brazilian faced the most adverse conditions and won a largely improbable victory. Next Saturday, he will be back at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, in the Mexican capital, in search of a result to close the gap on the championship leaders. With 261 points still at stake, the title race is wide open.
One of the recent positive aspects that for the Brazilian and his team, the Audi Sport Abt Schaefler, is the development work done on the e-Tron FE05. In the previous round, held in Chile, the car has shown to be in clear evolution. So much so that Di Grassi took pole position with more than half a second on the competitors, in what could have been the most spectacular qualifying of F-E’s history to date.
“This Saturday we will compete in a track where I adapt very well and what we did in Chile a few weeks ago shows that our car has evolved a lot. So, in the sum of the two things, we go to the race with enough optimism. But everything can happen, especially in Formula E, which has a strong grid and a very high level of competitiveness, “summarizes Di Grassi. “In 2018, we got a great set up of the car. So much so that I started last, I did stop and go penalty for a matter related to the team, and still I came in ninth, also making the best lap. Anyway, the track of Mexico is always generous with me. ”
A year before, in 2017, the Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez was the scene of one of Lucas’ greatest achievements. “I started from 15th and early in the race I was hit in the back, which forced me to stop already on the fifth lap to change the wing. I fell to the last, far behind everyone. Immediately we had to design a racing strategy for that situation, but even it was nullified by many factors, such as the entry of three safety cars, which totally changed the logic of the race. It was the worst possible scenario. But still I won and got into the title fight – which I won at the end of the season. This race is seen until today as the moment that gave us the breath to fight for the championship until the end. We arrived in Mexico with 29 points of disadvantage and we left only five behind the leader “, summarizes the Brazilian.
At the moment the leadership of the championship is held by Englishman Sam Bird (Envision Virgin Racing) with 43 points. Second placed is Belgian Jerome D’Ambrosio (Mahindra Racing, 41), followed by three drivers tied at 28 points: Félix da Costa (BMW Andretti, Portugal), Robin Frinjs (Envision Virgin Racing, Netherlands) and defending champion Jean-Eric Vergne (DS Techeetah, France). Lucas has nine points and ranks 12th.
Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez is 2,093 km long and will receive Formula E for the fourth time. It is the only permanent track of the calendar. The circuit layout is a one favourite to drivers because of its technical characteristics, but the detail most remembered by all is the segment of the track known as “stadium”, a stretch surrounded by large grandstands, where the public usually expresses their excitement in various moments of the race. “The Mexican public is very receptive and warm. And I think the stadium segment is the only place on the calendar where you can clearly hear the fans. And that moves you, no matter how concentrated you are, “says Di Grassi.