Di Grassi: People didn’t know what Formula E was

Abt Cupra driver Lucas di Grassi discusses his enjoyment for Formula E and people's perception of the all-electric racing series


Lucas di Grassi says he was forced to explain what Formula E was in the early seasons of the championship and thinks nearly everyone knows about the series ahead of 2024.

Formula E began in 2014 in Beijing, but Di Grassi was heavily involved with the founding and creating of the all-electric series two years prior to the inaugural event.

Multiple manufacturers including Jaguar, Porsche, Mercedes, Audi, BMW and Nissan were in Formula E by Season 6 at the end of 2019, with the championship widely seen as second only behind Formula 1 in the motorsport landscape.

Asked exclusively by Total-Motorsport.com, whether Formula E has been the most enjoyable period in his career, Di Grassi said: “Enjoyable is a tricky term because during the race weekend Formula E is extremely difficult and it’s not enjoyable at all, at least for me.

“You’re so focused, you have so little time in the car, the tracks are so demanding. It’s so competitive. You enjoy when you’re driving, but the tension and the pressure is very, very high. 

“But yes it has been the best part of my career is nine years. I enjoy it much more than when I was in Formula 2, Formula 1 or WEC.

Lucas di Grassi celebrates victory at the 2017 Mexico City E-Prix

“I helped create Formula E. For me to see it develop and to see it become more famous. Pretty much everybody knows about it now.

“When I started Formula E after two or three years, you go in a taxi and someone says  ‘what do you do?’ And you have to explain what Formula E is.

“Now you say ‘I do Formula E‘ and everybody knows what it is. They go ‘ah it’s electric’. It’s very important to be have had these amazing years in Formula E.”

Formula E title happiest moment of career

Di Grassi is the only driver to enter every Formula E race since it began in 2014 and was involved in title fights in the opening three seasons.

He missed out on the 2014 championship to compatriot Nelson Piquet and dramatically lost the title to Sebastien Buemi in 2015 after the pair controversially collided in the final race, only for the Swiss driver to take the bonus points for fastest lap.

But, Di Grassi would have his day as he became Season 3 champion in 2016, a weekend in Montreal he remembers fondly.

“It was one of the highlights,” said Di Grassi. “Every every step of my career has its important. If I wouldn’t have won the Pan-American Championship in go-karting, I would not have moved to Europe. 

“If I wouldn’t have won Macau in F3, I would probably not have done F2 or F1. So there are a lot of steps. There is not a single moment but if I have to take from my professional career, one day, that probably was the happiest moment when I won the Formula E title.”

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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