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Lucas di Grassi

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Nationality  Brazilian
Starts  19
Current team  Joest Racing
Former teams  0
Role  Racing driver

Car no.  1
Name  Lucas Grassi
Debut season  2012
Championships  0
Active years  2010
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Born  11 August 1984 (age 31) Sao Paulo, Brazil (1984-08-11)
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Lucas Tucci di Grassi (born 11 August 1984) is a Brazilian professional racing driver who currently competes for Audi Sport ABT in Formula E and is the 2016-17 World Champion. In 2014, di Grassi became the first driver in motorsport history to win a motor race in an all-electric single-seater racing car at the 2014 Beijing ePrix. He was also runner-up in the 2007 GP2 Series, 2015-16 FIA Formula E and 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship, and drove for Virgin Racing in the 2010 Formula One season.

Contents

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Early career

Lucas di Grassi Lucas di Grassi biography and career information

Born in São Paulo, di Grassi's career in karting peaked in 2000, with a 5th place in the Formula A World Championship. Di Grassi began his formula racing career in Brazilian Formula Renault in 2002, finishing as runner-up.

Formula Three (2003–06)

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In 2003, di Grassi stepped up to Formula Three, driving a Dallara F301 Mugen-Honda for Avallone Motorsport in Formula 3 Sudamericana. He finished as the championship runner-up behind Danilo Dirani, with one win and eleven other podium finishes. This came despite missing the last six races after suffering a major crash at the Curitiba round.

Lucas di Grassi Lucas Di GRASSI Autograph SIGNED 12x8 Photo Formula E Audi Sport

He also travelled to Europe to make four race starts in the Formula 3 Euro Series with Prema Powerteam, achieving a best finish of fourth place. The following year, he made a permanent move to Europe and took a drive with Hitech Racing in the British Formula Three Championship. His season peaked with two wins, and he was classified in eighth place overall. Another of that year's highlights was a podium finish on his début at the Macau Grand Prix with Hitech.

Lucas di Grassi httpscdn5motorsportcomstaticimgmgl170000

In 2005, di Grassi took another step up in a full-time return to the F3 Euro Series with Manor Motorsport. Against the dominant ASM pairing of Lewis Hamilton and Adrian Sutil he could only manage one win but ended the year third in the championship.

At the end of the season, di Grassi returned to Macau, this time with Manor, and won the event from third on the grid, although runaway Euro Series champion Hamilton missed the race.

GP2 Series (2006–09)

2006 brought di Grassi to the next stage in his career: promotion to the GP2 Grand Prix support series with Team Durango. It was a modest debut season, however, with only 8 points and 17th place in the championship standings.

For 2007 he joined reigning champions ART Grand Prix. He scored points consistently throughout the season, failing to score only once in the first 13 races. Despite not winning a race in that time, it put him in contention for the championship along with iSport's Timo Glock.

He scored his first win of the year in the 14th round of the championship at Istanbul, and took the lead of the championship, but Glock moved back ahead of him when he won the sprint race at the same event, and went on to win the title.

Di Grassi worked on testing the new-model GP2 car (to be used between 2008 and 2010), while testing for Renault F1. However, he resumed his GP2 career in 2008 by securing a drive at Campos Racing from round 4 onwards, replacing Ben Hanley. With three-second places and one fourth-place finish, he was the highest-scoring driver over the first two race meetings in which he took part. Two wins followed and he briefly looked set for a surprising championship challenge, before a final lap collision with Giorgio Pantano (who was disqualified for the incident) at Spa effectively ended his hopes. He finished an eventual third, ten points behind Pantano despite six fewer races.

He returned to the series for 2009 with Racing Engineering, and again finished third, finishing with the same number of points as he did in 2008.

Formula One

Having previously been a test driver for Renault in 2005, di Grassi tested for the Honda Racing F1 Team at the end of 2008, alongside fellow Brazilian and GP2 rival Bruno Senna.

Renault (2008–2009)

Di Grassi was then sent a contract by Renault to join them as a test driver, becoming the third GP2 runner-up to join Renault as a test driver after fellow Brazilian Nelson Piquet Jr. and Heikki Kovalainen. However, di Grassi was not retained by the team for 2010.

Virgin (2010)

Di Grassi joined Timo Glock at new team Virgin Racing for 2010. The team, originally called Manor, was rebranded when Virgin Group owner Richard Branson purchased a 20% stake. Di Grassi finished in 24th position in the championship, with a best race finish of 14th at the 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix.

In Japan, he crashed on the way to the grid before the race had started. In December, di Grassi won the Desafio Internacional das Estrelas, a karting event organised by Felipe Massa.

On 21 December 2010, di Grassi was left without a drive, after Virgin announced Jérôme d'Ambrosio to partner Glock for the 2011 season.

Testing for Pirelli

On 6 July 2011, di Grassi was appointed Pirelli's official tester for their development of Formula One tyres for the 2011 season, and drove the company's Toyota TF109 test car in five test sessions in order to develop the next generation of tyres, as well as attending several race weekends where he collected information about tyre performance and attended technical briefings. He remained with Pirelli for the 2012 season alongside Jaime Alguersuari to help develop tyres for 2013 and beyond using a Renault R30 chassis. The chassis was upgraded to the 2012 requirements for Alguersuari and di Grassi to run the car across four development tests during the course of the season at Jerez, Spa, Monza and Barcelona to help Pirelli improve its selection of tyres.

Formula E (2012–)

In 2012, di Grassi was announced as the official test driver for the upcoming environmentally friendly Formula E series run by the FIA. He first tested the prototype Formula E car at Circuit de L'Eure near Paris in August. Di Grassi later terminated his contract as test driver to race in the series.

On 13 February 2014, di Grassi was announced to be competing in the inaugural Formula E season with Audi Sport ABT alongside his campaign in the World Endurance Championship. Di Grassi was team mates with GP2 driver Daniel Abt.

2014–15

In September 2014, di Grassi won the first race of the season in Beijing, the first driver to win an all-electric motor race. He recorded two more consecutive podiums in Putrajaya with second place, and in Punta del Este with third place to give him the championship lead. However, di Grassi had bad luck with a suspension failure in Buenos Aires, causing him to retire from the lead, and technical issues caused him to finish 9th in Miami, to lose the championship lead. Di Grassi bounced back with third place in Long Beach, and second place in Monaco to give himself a 4-point lead with four rounds to go. Di Grassi's championship took a blow when he was disqualified from victory, in Berlin; with second place in Moscow to Nelson Piquet Jr., di Grassi entered the double-header in London 17 points in arrears. Di Grassi finished 4th and 6th in the two races in London, one place ahead of Piquet each time and ultimately finished eleven points behind Piquet and lost second to Buemi, who won the first race. He, however, managed the most podium finishes of any driver with six.

2015–16

For the second consecutive season, di Grassi achieved three podium finishes in the opening three races. Di Grassi started the season with second place in Beijing and then followed this up with victory in Putrajaya and took the championship lead. Di Grassi followed up his win with second place in Punta del Este behind Buemi, and third place in the Buenos Aires also behind Buemi, meaning he was four points behind after four races. However, di Grassi established a record for most consecutive podium finishes with four. Di Grassi's title hopes took a brief blow after being disqualified from the win at the Mexico City, but bounced back with victory at Long Beach whilst Buemi – who led by 22 points going into the round – had a mistake filled race where he collided into the back of Robin Frijns, had to switch cars early and ultimately finished 16th and took two points for fastest lap. Now with a one-point championship lead, di Grassi then followed this up with another victory in Paris whereas Buemi finished in third to give him an eleven-point lead heading into Berlin. The scenario was reversed in Berlin, as Buemi took victory and di Grassi finishing third after team-mate Daniel Abt refused team orders to let him through.

Di Grassi later stated that he would rather lose the title than win it through team orders. Di Grassi extended his championship lead to three after the first London ePrix race, finishing fourth to Buemi's fifth, but Buemi stated his rival was "willing to crash" after their battle during the race. Buemi eradicated that advantage with pole position for the season's final race, while di Grassi qualified third behind Buemi's team-mate Nicolas Prost. On the opening lap, di Grassi and Prost went side-by-side through the opening bends and under braking for Turn 3, di Grassi made slight contact with Prost and ran into the back of Buemi. Both cars sustained damage in the collision; Buemi's rear wing was dislodged, while di Grassi's front wing was removed as well as damage to the front-right suspension. With the drivers down the order, and two points available for the race's fastest lap, di Grassi and Buemi commenced a battle to set the fastest time while not getting held up by other drivers. Di Grassi initially set the best time, before Buemi improved upon that, and ultimately took the championship title by five tenths on track, and two points in the championship. Buemi later stated that he had no respect for di Grassi and that he was "lying", while di Grassi retorted Buemi's claim of blocking during the battle for the race's fastest lap.

World Endurance Championship and Le Mans with Audi Sport

In September 2012, di Grassi was confirmed to be driving for Audi for round five in the World Endurance Championship at São Paulo alongside Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen, and replacing Rinaldo Capello who had retired after the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans. Di Grassi managed to qualify the No. 2 Audi second on the grid, and finished the race third overall. Di Grassi did not race with Audi for the rest of the year, but was announced as an Audi test driver for 2013.

Audi announced in March 2013 that di Grassi was selected to race for Audi for the opening round of the 2013 American Le Mans Series at the 12 Hours of Sebring. Di Grassi again teamed up with Kristensen and McNish, and finished second overall after exchanging the lead with the sister Audi.

Shortly after the season-opening 6 Hours of Silverstone, Audi announced that di Grassi would be racing an experimental car at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps and the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans alongside Oliver Jarvis and Marc Gené, and finished third in both events.

On 3 February 2014, Audi announced that di Grassi would replace the retiring Allan McNish in the No. 1 Audi, sharing the ride with Tom Kristensen and Loïc Duval for the full 2014 season.

Career summary

* Season still in progress.
As di Grassi was a guest driver, he was ineligible for championship points.

Complete Formula 3 Euro Series results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Complete GP2 Series results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Complete Formula One results

(key)

Driver did not finish the Grand Prix, but was classified as they had completed over 90% of the race distance.

V8 Supercar results

† Not Eligible for points

Stock Car Brasil results

Ineligible for championship points.

Complete Formula E results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

References

Lucas di Grassi Wikipedia


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