Lucas di Grassi

Full Name:
Lucas Tucci di Grassi
Born:
11th August 1984 (Age 33)
Sao Paulo
Nationality:
Brazilian
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

Lucas di Grassi’s car racing career began in 2002 when he finished as runner-up in the Brazilian Formula Renault Championship. He moved into Sud-Am Formula 3 for the following season with an Avallone Motorsport Dallara F301-Mugen. Again he finished second despite missing the final six races after injuring his neck at Curitiba.

European racing career

He had also made his European F3 debut that year and was fourth at Pau for Prema Powerteam. He switched to the British series in 2004 with a HiTech Racing Dallara F304-Renault. Impressive in qualifying, he scored a double win at Thruxton and finished third at Macau.

For 2005 he graduated to the Euroseries with Manor Motorsport but he suffered a major accident at the opening round. Di Grassi recovered to win at Oschersleben and clinch third in the championship behind ASM stars Lewis Hamilton and Adrian Sutil. Third in the Zandvoort Masters, he won at Macau to attract the attention of the Renault Formula 1 team. He joined its young driver development scheme and tested a Renault R25 at Jerez.

GP2 Series

GP2 was next but having accelerated through the training formulae, di Grassi would spend four years a step away from F1. A disappointing 2006 with Durango was followed by a move to reigning champions ART Grand Prix. Although unable to match iSport’s Timo Glock, the Brazilian proved an intelligent racer and finished runner-up in the 2007 championship – something he was becoming used to.

Renault’s reserve driver in 2008, di Grassi made a delayed return to GP2 when replacing Ben Hanley in Adrián Campos’ Barwa International team. Despite missing the opening six races, he won three times to close to within a point of finishing second once more. Third again in 2009 (now with Racing Engineering), he was overlooked when Renault decided to replace the disappointing Nelson Piquet Jr.

Formula 1 with Virgin Racing

However, his F1 opportunity finally came in 2010 with the Manor-run Virgin Racing. Life among F1’s new teams was far from easy and 14th in Malaysia was di Grassi’s best finish of an underwhelming campaign. Generally outpaced by team-mate Glock, he was replaced at the end of the season.

Starring for Audi in sports cars

He spent 2011 as test driver for Pirelli before starring on his World Endurance Championship debut at Interlagos in 2012. Sharing an Audi R18 ultra with Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen, di Grassi set the fastest race lap as they finished third. He shared an Audi R18 e-tron quattro with Oliver Jarvis and Marc Gené for the 2013 Spa-Francorchamps Six Hours and at Le Mans – finishing third on both occasions. He was also second at Sebring with Kristiansen and McNish. He replaced the retiring Scot in 2014 and three second place finishes included that year's Le Mans 24 Hours.

Di Grassi continued to improve during the 2015 WEC season although Audi were ultimately not as quick as either Porsche or Toyota. The Brazilian impressed at Le Mans on the way to fourth and finished third at the Circuit of the Americas as he, Loïc Duval and Oliver Jarvis claimed fourth in the final standings.

2016 proved to be di Grassi’s breakthrough sports car racing campaign with victories at Spa-Francorchamps and Bahrain the highlights. Again paired with Duval and Jarvis, they were only beaten in the championship by the Porsche of Romain Dumas, Marc Lieb and Neel Jani in what would be Audi’s last season in the series.

Formula E title challenger

As well as racing with Audi in the World Endurance Championship, di Grassi has starred in the first-ever all electric series. He won the opening race of the 2014/15 Formula E Championship when Nicolas Prost and Nick Heidfeld collided on the final corner in Beijing. He scored another five podium finishes during that inaugural campaign to finish third overall for Audi Sport Team Abt.

His second season with Abt so nearly delivered the Formula E title but ended in controversy. He won in Putrajaya, Long Beach and Paris but lost victory in Mexico when his car was found to be underweight. His title challenge was further harmed by team-mate Daniel Abt’s refusal to yield second place in Berlin despite being told to do so. Di Grassi held a narrow championship lead entering the final race in London and drove into rival Sébastien Buemi on the opening lap. Whether deliberate or not, he then failed to better Buemi’s fastest lap in the race so the Swiss driver narrowly emerged as champion.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
2016/2017 FIA Formula E Championship
Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport
12 3 7 2
17% win rate
1st 181
2016 World Endurance Championship
Audi Sport Team Joest
9 3 6 2 2nd 147.5
2015/2016 FIA Formula E Championship
Audi Sport Abt
10 0 7 3
30% win rate
2nd 153
2015 World Endurance Championship
Audi Sport Team Joest
8 0 1 0 4th 99
2014/2015 FIA Formula E Championship
Audi Sport Abt
11 0 6 1
10% win rate
3rd 133
2014 World Endurance Championship
Audi Sport Team Joest
8 0 4 0 4th 117
2013 World Endurance Championship
Audi Sport Team Joest
2 0 2 0 9th 45
2012 World Endurance Championship
Audi Sport Team Joest
1 0 1 0 22nd 15
2010 F1 World Championship
Virgin Racing
18 (1) 0 0 0
0% win rate
24th 0
2009 GP2 Series
Racing Engineering
20 2 8 1
5% win rate
3rd 63
2008 GP2 Series
Campos Racing
14 0 6 3
22% win rate
3rd 63
2007 GP2 Series
ART Grand Prix
21 0 7 1
5% win rate
2nd 77
2006 GP2 Series
Durango Formula
19 (2) 0 0 0
0% win rate
17th 8
2005 F3 Euroseries
Manor Motorsport
19 (1) 2 6 1
6% win rate
3rd 68
2003 F3 Euroseries
Prema Powerteam
4 0 0 0
0% win rate
21st 5

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