Mahindra signs 'most decorated' ex-Formula E champion Di Grassi

Formula E News

Formula E team Mahindra Racing has signed Lucas Di Grassi on a "long-term deal" starting from next season

Lucas Di Grassi signs

Formula E team Mahindra Racing has signed Lucas Di Grassi, the driver tied for most wins in the championship’s history, on a “long-term deal” starting from the 2022/23 season.

The Brazilian, who replaces Alexander Sims, said “the timing could not be better.”

Di Grassi’s 2016/17 title crown, 13 race wins and 38 podiums makes Mahindra’s case for him to be the most successful Formula E driver ever, although Jean Eric-Vergne has two FE crowns despite having less victories and top-threes.

Recently Mahindra has been a team which has often impressed in qualifying but then struggled for race pace – the Brazilian’s experience will be key in improving this, particularly as the series embarks on its new Gen3 era.

Mahindra will also be supplying the returning ABT team with powertrains next season – Di Grassi drove for the latter between 2014 and last year, securing the title there in his second season.

Next season’s new cars are the fastest Formula E machines yet, capable of reaching 200mph, while also being smaller and lighter. With Mahindra currently ninth in the 2021/22 championship, the team will view the regulation change as a chance to jump up the grid.


Di Grassi won the last FE round in London


Testing for Gen3 has already begun and Di Grassi is continuing the programme alongside his new team-mate Oliver Rowland.

With these changes incoming, the current Venturi driver believes there is no better point at which to join his new team, with ambitious targets set.

“Joining Mahindra represents a new challenge in my career and the timings could not be better; with the introduction of Gen3 in season nine of the FIA Formula E World Championship, everyone is starting from scratch,” he said.

“Having a seven-year relationship with ABT Sportsline, in which we won the world championship together, will give us a good springboard.

“The short-term target is to win races and long-term is to help Mahindra Racing to win the world championship and become an icon in electric racing worldwide.”

Related article

A test driver for Formula E in its development phase, Di Grassi has become one of the ambassadors for the series through being not only one of its most successful drivers, but also a growing voice as an advocate for climate change action, particularly through green technologies.

A three-time overall podium finisher at Le Mans, the ex-Virgin F1 driver told Motor Sport at last year’s London E-Prix that “If I had to choose between WEC and Formula E, I would choose the latter every time.”

The Brazilian has been part of the championship ever since its debut season in 2014, winning its maiden race.

This weekend’s season finale in the South Korea capital Seoul, where Di Grassi will drive for his final race for Venturi Racing – which becomes the Maserati works team next year – now marks a century of races in the series for the Brazilian.

Di Grassi is also United Nations ambassador and co-founder Zero Summit – a driving force behind Mahindra’s keenness decision to sign him.

“There’s no doubt that Lucas is one of the greatest Formula E drivers in the history of the sport – the stats and the silverware do the talking – but, for us, his appeal is much wider than that,” said Dilbagh Gill, CEO and Team Principal at Mahindra Racing.

“We are the only team that has been net carbon zero since inception, earning us the title of ‘The Greenest Team in Motorsport’, and it is fundamental to our existence that we are driving forward technological developments in electric mobility with passion and knowledge both on- and off-track.

“We believe Lucas is perfectly positioned to do this and we are ready to get him bedded into our ground-breaking Gen3 programme within the coming weeks.”