The champion is back: on clinching victory in the Formula E race in Zurich, Lucas di Grassi fought back to third place in the championship. In an interview, di Grassi shares some of his feelings and expresses his goals in racing and personal highlights. Meanwhile, the battle for the crown in the Formula E teams’ classification remains extremely thrilling. The decision will only be produced in the two final races in New York (July 14/15).
It was 8.40 PM Sunday night when Lucas di Grassi, following his spectacular victory, was finally able to celebrate with his team. Previously, the Brazilian had completed a small marathon consisting of the podium ceremony, press conference, numerous TV interviews and a doping test. Then, on the shore of Lake Zurich, di Grassi delivered on a promise he had made three days earlier to his mechanics and somersaulted into the water from a height of some six meters.
There were plenty of reasons for partying in high spirits. With his victory in the first international car race in Switzerland since 1954 Lucas di Grassi wrote a chapter in motorsport history. It was his fifth podium in succession and 25th podium finish in total – both records in the fully electric racing series. Plus, the next aim has already been set: in the last two races in New York in mid-July, Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi intend to grab the title in the teams’ classification.
— Audi Formula E (@audiformulae) June 12, 2018
A word from Lucas di Grassi
You celebrated your victory by jumping into Lake Zurich. Have your clothes dried yet from the champagne and water?
Yes, even though I basically always like the smell of champagne on my racing suit it has since been put in the washing machine. But the pleasant feeling remains! Actually, now that a few days have passed and I’ve read all the reports, it may have even become more intense. Winning this race so many years after the last international motorsport event in Switzerland means a lot to me not least because it was such a fantastic weekend in every way.
Will such a jump now become a tradition for you? After all, at the next event in New York, the race track will be located directly on the waterfront again …
(laughs) In view of the strong current of the East River, I think I’d better not and instead come up with something else. But seriously: The short spontaneous party at which Dieter Gass and Allan McNish also jumped into the lake after me is a pretty good sign of how excellent the atmosphere is in our team. We work hard and with full concentration. We’re clearly focused on our goal. And, at the same time, we’re able to party hard when we’re successful.
After the three first races of the season still last in the championship and now third, five podiums straight – no other driver has scored more points in the last five races than you have. How good does that feel?
I always look at such statistics with mixed feelings. On the one hand, obviously, the strong run of success we’re delivering as a team at the moment and the records we may be setting are great. On the other hand, I also sometimes think: What if things had gone a little smoother at the beginning of the season? Or if we’d have additionally had the race weekend in Montreal that was cancelled to make up more ground? However, there’s no point in wasting too many thoughts on this. We’re now fully concentrating on the future and on our big aim of clinching the teams’ title in Formula E.
Your team has reduced the gap to Techeetah in the teams’ classification to 33 points. You have experience in delivering great fightbacks on the final weekend. What’s the strategy for the last two races in New York?
Last season I arrived at the two final races with a 23-point deficit and still managed to overtake Sébastien Buemi. Now Daniel and I have to make up 33 points on two days – that’s a lot but not impossible. Our competitors will no doubt be strong in New York, so we need to be the ones doing the better job within the space of 48 hours.
Before this motorsport highlight a special personal experience – the birth of your first son – is awaiting you. What are your plans for the next few weeks?
There’s still some testing work with our car for the next season on the agenda, but I’ll be able to spend most of my time with my wife in Brazil. I’m super-excited and looking forward to the birth of our son – and, obviously, also to travelling to New York as a brand new father with top motivation.
— LUCAS DI GRASSI (@LucasdiGrassi) June 11, 2018