Di Grassi hit with another grid penalty

Credit: Formula E

Reigning Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi will again start well down the grid after he was forced to take another ten place grid penalty for replacing an inverter.

It is the second race in a row the Brazilian has been penalised as his Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler team struggle to get to grips with the reliability problems they have been suffering from so far.

But despite the penalty the team now believe they have identified and solved the problem that has plagued di Grassi since the start of the season.

However they are unable to implement the fix until the race in Punta del Este due to FIA regulations, something that Audi’s Head of Motorsport Dieter Gass said was frustrating.

Gass said, “We’re confident that we’ve found both the cause and a solution. Unfortunately, the FIA regulations do not allow us to implement the changes until a 30-day period has expired.

“Although we’re obviously not happy about this situation, we are optimistic that the permanent track characteristics [of the Mexico City track], much like in pre-season testing, do not exaggerate any problems.”

The change looks like it will have come too late to help di Grassi retain his title as he remains pointless so far in this year’s championship, and seventy-one points behind leader Jean-Eric Vergne.

Despite this Team Principle Allan McNish said that Audi would continue to push as hard as possible, saying that they were taking inspiration from di Grassi’s drive last season in Mexico where he went from last to first.

“At the moment, we’re going through a tough time in our young Formula E history,” McNish commented.

“But we are as determined as ever and will continue to push to the maximum with Daniel [Abt] and Lucas, in spite of the current challenges.

“We all know how unpredictable a race day can be in Formula E – Lucas’ spectacular victory last year showed that well.”