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Di Grassi: Formula E driving standards are very poor

After another chaotic Formula E race, ABT Cupra driver Lucas di Grassi was critical of the overall driving standards in Formula E

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Lucas di Grassi has hit out at driving standards in Formula E after his race ended early in a chaotic first 2024 Berlin E-Prix on Saturday.

Di Grassi was hit by Dan Ticktum at Turn 6 halfway through the peloton-style race, which saw cars often go three and four-wide into the big braking zones at the Berlin Tempelhof Circuit.

The Brazilian wasn’t just frustrated with Ticktum, but the general racing standards in Formula E‘s manic races.

“The driving standards are very poor,” Di Grassi exclusively told Total-Motorsport.com. “The race director doesn’t enforce many penalties so it’s getting worse and worse.

“If one guy does something to you which they think is borderline sporting and nothing happens, you are going to do it to others and it starts like this.

“It’s hard because there are a lot of incidents but many are clear-cut. In Tokyo for example, I was driving and there was a queue, Nyck de Vries drove into the back of my car and caused a puncture but didn’t get a penalty. If you create a puncture, you should receive a penalty.

“There are many scenarios that I think that we need we need more penalties, otherwise I don’t think it’s good for the sport.

“The racing in Formula E is like this, so you need to have very clear cut rules to make sure we are in the right position.”

Ticktum: On the edge of my fault and racing incident

Ticktum and Di Grassi were battling for ninth place, with the latter enjoying one of his best races of the 2024 Formula E season.

Di Grassi was forced to retire due to damage, whilst Ticktum carried on but was given a five-second time penalty for the contact, which dropped him to 14th place.

“It’s right on the edge between a racing incident and me being at fault,” explained Ticktum. “I did end his race so I completely get it.

“It’s a tough one. You could argue it’s a racing incident and also argue I took him out and shouldn’t have put my car there.

“If you don’t go for a move to the inside or outside, someone else is going to overtake because we are lifting so early.

“At the first part of the apex, there was a car’s width, then he had Max Gunther on the outside, so he came across a little bit. I could see why more people think it was my fault.

Dan Ticktum of ERT during 2024 Berlin E-Prix | Formula E
Dan Ticktum of ERT during 2024 Berlin E-Prix | Formula E

“It’s not really racing. It’s all strategy, all luck. Spark probably had about a quarter of a million pounds worth of spares on front wings alone.

“Their floors are even more, so they have probably made half a million quid! It’s just nuts. You can’t do anything about it.”

Ticktum says Di Grassi is not angry

Despite Ticktum‘s record of being involved in incidents during his motorsport career, his contact with Di Grassi was partly down to the concertina effect and chaotic style Formula E races this year.

The pair talked to each other after the race and there were no hard feelings between them, with Ticktum also revealing another near-collision towards the end of the Saturday race.

“Lucas is not particularly angry,” said Ticktum. “He gets it. He’s mature, he’s intelligent and I would have reacted the same. No one is trying to do anything stupid.

“These little slip-ups happen. You just can’t avoid it sometimes. I was at a point five or six laps at the end, my teammate [Sergio Sette Camara] drove into Paul Aron, so I was forced wide, then Fenestraz was forced wide as well, so he nearly came into me at the exit of Turn 2, so I had to slow down and avoid him. It was just chaos.”

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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