Lucas di Grassi fights for points in Formula E home race

The fans at the Sambadrome in São Paulo saw a thrilling Formula E race: in a real heat battle with air temperatures of more than 35 degrees, local hero Lucas di Grassi fought for points for a long time but had to settle for 13th place at the finish line in his home city. After damaging his front wing and having to make a pit stop as a result, Nico Müller’s race was endangered at an early stage, and he retired his car after 26 laps. Even though ABT CUPRA did not score any points in Brazil, the team clearly underlined its recent upward trend.

This was also shown by the performance in qualifying: Nico Müller finished a strong fourth in the group phase and, with seventh place, achieved his best grid position of the season so far. His team-mate Lucas di Grassi, who was frenetically celebrated by the fans in São Paulo, missed out on a place in the qualifying duels by just a tenth of a second and started his home race from 15th place on the grid.

The fourth round of the season in São Paulo was the first of a total of six Formula E events to be held every two weeks before a longer break in June. An absolute highlight awaits Lucas di Grassi and Nico Müller the weekend after next: on April 30th, Formula E will race in the heart of Tokyo for the first time.

Martin Tomczyk, ABT Motorsport Director: “We have seen a clear improvement from session to session, the qualifying performance was the best of the season so far. We went into the race with a good feeling, even though it was difficult to implement an optimal strategy due to the high temperatures. The turbulent race with lots of overtaking was great for the spectators but cost Nico the race after a collision. We made the best of the situation and fought for points until the end.”

Lucas di Grassi, #11 (qualifying P15, race P13): “It’s been an incredible week here in my hometown – many, many thanks to all the people who have made this event so special for me. We gave everything in the race to also set a sporting highlight. In the end, 13th place is the best result of the season so far, but obviously not what we expected. The heat took a lot out of the batteries, and it was very difficult to find the right strategy. We can see that better results are possible, and we won’t give up until we reach our goals.”

Nico Müller, #51 (Qualifying P7, race DNF): “This was a race day with ups and downs. In qualifying we were fast on one lap and made it into the duel phase – that was nice to see. The race itself was turbulent, there was a lot of confusion, which didn’t help. After two contacts we had to change the front wing, then a piece of plastic that we probably picked up prevented optimum cooling and we had to retire.”