Brazilian driver wins the first race in Swiss territory after six decades
On Sunday (10), Lucas Di Grassi won a historic and exciting victory in the race that marked the return of motorsport to Switzerland after 64 years of absence. Current Formula E world champion Di Grassi won the 10th round of the season in Zurich, amassing now a stunning five podium sequence and becoming the most efficient driver of the second half of the season. The result also lifted Lucas to third place on the standings – despite being severely hampered by consecutive car breaks in the first five races of the year. On the way to the podium, the Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler team driver dedicated the victory to his first son, who will be born later this month in São Paulo.
The victory was the seventh of Di Grassi’s Formula E career. He had already won in Beijing (China, 2014), Putrajaya (Malaysia / 2016), Long Beach (USA / 2016), Paris (France / 2016) and Montreal (Canada/2017). “I knew our victory was near and it was important that it happened here in Switzerland,” says Lucas. “It is an incredible honor to be the first driver to win in this country after more than six decades without races. I was able to see that the Swiss people are very fond of the sport and I was especially happy to see the reaction of the public after the flag and also in the podium. It was an incredible feeling to bring the Brazilian flag to the top again. After four second places in a row, this victory came at the right time. And I dedicate this first place to my son, who will be born soon in Brazil “.
Switzerland has not run races in its territory since 1954. The decision was turned into law after the sport’s most tragic accident, a year earlier in Le Mans (France), when 83 spectators died. With advances in safety and technology, the decision was revised and cars were allowed to race with electric motors. Formula E was the first category to compete in the country.
The way to victory – Lucas started from fifth position to maintain an aggressive stance since the beggining. In the second lap the Brazilian was already in the fourth position and ready to start a hunt for the next opponent, the Englishman Sam Bird. Lucas gave no chance to the driver of the team DS Virgin Racing. With one more maneuver on the inside of Curve 10, on the 13th lap, the Brazilian surprised the Briton, who seemed to believe that his position was momentarily safe. In the 16th lap, it was the turn of the German Andre Lotterer (Techeetah) to succumb to the rhythm of the Brazilian, who dived inside the fast Curve 1 to take second place.
Immediately, Di Grassi began the persecution of race leader Mitch Evans, of the Jaguar team. Two laps after beating Lotterer, the Brazilian left behind Evans and took the lead which he maintened until final lap of the historic race in Switzerland. The victory in Zurich is Lucas’s seventh podium, considering the last eight events he has raced in both Formula E and the Brazilian Stock Car Series. The Brazilian’s next appointment is scheduled for July 14th and 15th, when the F-E series will host a double header round on the streets of New York.
Here is the Lucas’ podium sequence comprising the last eight events:
17/03 – Punta del Este / F-E, second place
08/04 – Curitiba / Stock, victory
14/04 – Rome / F-E, second place
04/24 – Velopark / Stock, suspension failure
04/28 – Paris / F-E, second place
06/05 – Londrina / Stock, win
19/05 – Berlin / Formula E, second place
10/06 – Zurich / Formula E, victory