Formula E- Lucas di Grassi will be continuing with Formula E as he has been announced at Venturi alongside Edoardo Mortara for season 8.
As the longest serving driver in Formula E, di Grassi started as the series’ test and development driver helping to create the Gen1 car, before joining Abt and is now one of only two drivers, the other being Sam Bird, to have competed in every Formula E race since the series’ debut around Beijing in September 2014, and the only one to do that with the same team as the Brazilian’s move to Venturi will be his first team swap in Formula E.
Starting with Abt in season one and continuing with the team as Audi took the reins, di Grassi was very vocal in his desire to continue with the all-electric championship after, late last year, Audi announced their departure and shift of focus back to Le Mans and to the Dakar Rally.
With seven seasons of experience under his belt and having won a championship and taken 12 wins from his 33 podium finishes, di Grassi would be a valuable asset to any team and Venturi can only benefit from adding his knowledge to theirs.
“Anyone who knows me know how competitive I am,” said di Grassi. “Driving for a team that I know can fight at the front and really challenge for the championship is essential for me. ROKiT Venturi Racing was simply the best choice and I’m really happy to be part of the team. I’ve followed Venturi since Season 1 and I know that they have a strong history in Monaco. The team performed very, very well last season.
“You can see that the team has progressed a lot in recent years, the momentum is really there and they have shown clear improvements in every area. Edo had a fantastic season, really strong, he was fighting for the title until the very end and there were many times over the season that I was racing both Venturi cars and I could see how competitive they were.”
Rokit Venturi Racing’s Team Principal, Susie Wolff, feels that with the team’s progress, di Grassi’s expertise, and the driver line-up they have that the team are in a very positive place.
“Last season we demonstrated that we have a strong package,” said Wolff. “There were many highlights throughout the season starting with a podium and finishing with a win. Edo showcased to everyone what we have known all along – that he’s a World Championship contender. Moving forward to Season 8, Edo is joined by Lucas – a proven Formula E Championship winner who also brings a wealth of experience.
“They will push each other and drive us forward as a team. To have both cars scoring points in every race is essential for us for the Team’s Championship and with our new driver line-up, there’s a lot to feel optimistic about heading into Season 8.”
Interestingly, both of the Brazilian’s wins this season were shared with his Venturi teammate-to-be, Mortara. And di Grassi is looking forward to being back in a team with the Swiss driver after both had been in the Audi drivers program previously.
“It’s not just about the team though,” di Grassi added. “I’m really happy to drive alongside Edo, we’ve known each other for a very long time, we [were] part of the Audi program together, I respect him as a driver, as a human – he’s a very talented driver and a great character, I think we’re going to work really well together.”
Mortara himself is equally enthused with the prospect of working with di Grassi and after Venturi had their strongest season in the series, with Mortara being in contention for the inaugural World Championship title as he headed into the final race. Despite not making it further than a few metres in the finale, the Swiss ended as runner up in the title fight.
“I’m really happy to be continuing with the team,” Mortara said. “And it’s a pleasure to welcome Lucas to the family. We had a very strong season this year, my best so far in Formula E which was also testimony to the hard work of the team around me. We’re on good trajectory and we want to maintain that moving forward.
“Competing against Lucas in the past he has always been extremely competitive and he’s very good when it comes to energy management – one of the most critical points to being successful in Formula E. The progress we made in Season 7 was great but there is still plenty to do and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together.”