Di Grassi to lose race engineer

Credit: Formula E

Lucas di Grassi is to lose the race engineer who helped him win last year’s Formula E championship.

Franco Chiocchetti will complete the first few races of the season with the Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler team before leaving altogether.

Chiocchetti had been with Abt since 2001, and was appointed as di Grassi’s race engineer and technical director when they entered Formula E.

He was moved to a role as head of track operations following the take-over from Audi, and at the time he spoke to Autosport about the extra manpower the team had received as a result of the German manufacturer’s investment.

He said at the end of September, “The thing we noticed the most is the amount of manpower that is now involved, and also their know-how.

“I wouldn’t say it’s excessive but compared to what we had at Abt it’s a big step forward. We started at Abt basically at grassroots and the Audi guys have so much knowledge.”

Chiocchetti specifically mentioned the benefits the original Abt members of the team were bringing to the mix.

“It’s been quite a good mixture, we’ve had the experience of the series, they’ve had the knowledge of the powertrains,” he said.

“It’s been quite an interesting mix because the best technical solution is not always the best in FE.

“You need to find a happy medium and this is where we as a team were important in the development role, to guide them in the direction we believe is the right thing for Formula E.”

A spokesman for Abt thanked Franco Chiocchetti “for all he has done as an Abt team member.”