Di Grassi calls for Formula E to explore different formats

Does Formula E need to change its format or the tracks they visit? Lucas di Grassi has his say

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Lucas di Grassi believes Formula E should explore different formats in the future, particularly during double-header race weekends.

The 2024 Formula E calendar will have four double-headers – in Diriyah, Rome, Berlin and London – while the other nine events will feature one race.

Ahead of the 2022 season, Formula E changed the qualifying format to have head-to-head duels but since the end of 2018, when races could be completed with one car, the race weekend has largely been the same.

“I would do double headers, but with different formats,” Di Grassi, who will remain with Mahindra for 2024, exclusively told Total-Motorsport.com.

“For example, I will do Saturday race with let’s say fast charging, and a Sunday race without fast charging.

“Or you could go a step further and the Saturday race is a team race. So when one car goes into the garage, the other guy goes out and the teams wins. Then, Sunday will be a normal race.

“What I don’t like about double-headers is at the end of the weekend you have two winners and up to six people on the podium. The crowd can also be a bit confused on which day to go. 

“I’m a big fan of expanding the event of Formula E to two or three days, but with different formats – like a sprint race in F1. That direction and exploring it more could be a very good opportunity for Formula E.”

Should Formula E race on more conventional tracks?

Another key topic is the circuits Formula E visit as the cars get faster and have outgrown some of the tighter street tracks.

The series visited Portland International Raceway in 2023, one of the few times in Formula E‘s history where they have raced at a conventional circuit.

Jake Dennis leads the pack at the 2023 Portland E-Prix | Formula E

Newer additions to the calendar such as Jakarta, Cape Town, Hyderabad and Sao Paulo have been made wide enough to ensure better racing and more overtaking opportunities, which Di Grassi is a fan of.

“I think we need to be more open-minded about what tracks we build – to have faster ones like Sao Paulo or Portland,” said Di Grassi. “I think that also shows the capacity of the car. In Portland, we were five kph slower than an IndyCar.

“It shows the car is pretty fast. So I would like to see more of that, but not all like Portland. For sure, with a small update we can go to Brands Hatch and have a race there, for example.”

When is the 2024 Formula E season?

The new Formula E season begins with pre-season testing from Valencia at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo from October 23-27, with Mexico City hosting the 2024 opener on January 13.

John Smith
John Smithhttps://total-motorsport.com
Editor at Total-Motorsport.com and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
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