Brazilian ace is back in the game after winning the Long Beach ePrix whilst his closest rival Buemi only scored two points
It was supposed to happen only at Hollywood’s doorstep. After leaving Mexico 22 points behind the championship lead with a bitter taste in his mouth after getting disqualified, Lucas di Grassi won the Long Beach ePrix this Saturday to leave for the Formula E European rounds leading the standings one point in front his closest contender.
The ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport team clinched its greatest result in its infant Formula E history: Lucas won the race and in doing so reclaimed the championship lead in the electric racing series. In addition, team mate Daniel Abt completed the triumph with a strong third place.
After the setback in the last race, the Brazilian bounced back in impressive style. Di Grassi had also won three weeks ago, but was excluded in Mexico afterwards the results because his car was underweight. The jubilation after Lucas’ victory in the US was even greater.
"The victory was exactly the right reaction after the race in Mexico. Before the weekend, the entire team was absolutely committed to proving that the victory there was not a fluke", said Di Grassi. "We are racers, we go to the limit and never give up. The crucial stage of the season now starts and we are more motivated than ever before to stay on track in the fast lane. I’m also absolutely delighted for Daniel. He is a great guy and a strong driver - today he got his reward for this", he continued.
After starting the race from second on the grid, Lucas di Grassi overtook Sam Bird, who was leading at that time, before the pit stop with its obligatory car change. In the second half of the race, the Brazilian, who was once again awarded FanBoost and its accompanying extra portion of energy by the fans, pulled away and remained unfazed despite a late safety car stage that bunched up the field again.
"My compliments and congratulations to our two drivers, all the engineers and the mechanics. I’m incredibly proud of the entire team: everybody was under immense pressure, but everyone performed fantastically", said team boss Hans-Jürgen Abt.
Now, after racing in Asia, South and North America, the FIA Formula E Championship returns to Europe. Next round is in Paris on April 23rd in the heart of the French capital with the Les Invalides as backdrop. First, Lucas di Grassi has another challenge: the first round of the FIA WEC with Audi Sport Team Joest - the 6 Hours of Silverstone on April 17th.
Long Beach ePrix RESULTS (Top-10)
1-) Lucas di Grassi (BRA), ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport - 41 laps in 45min11s582 (116,0 km/h)
2-) Stéphane Sarrazin (FRA), Venturi - 0s787
3-) Daniel Abt (ALE), ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport - 1s685
4-) Nick Heidfeld (ALE), Mahindra Racing - 2s343
5-) Bruno Senna (BRA), Mahindra Racing - 4s968
6-) Sam Bird (GBR), DS Virgin - 5s229
7-) Jerôme D’Ambrosrio (BEL), Dragon Racing - 6s735
8-) Loïc Duval (FRA), Dragon Racing - 8s057
9-) Simona de Silvestro (SUI), Andretti - 10s505
10-) Mike Conway (GBR), Venturi - 10s900
Championship Standings (Top-5)
1-) Lucas di Grassi, 101 points
2-) Sébatien Buemi - 100
3-) Sam Bird - 71
4-) Jerôme D’Ambrosio - 64
5-) Stéphane Sarrazin - 48
Lucas di Grassi