LAT/Formula E

Lucas di Grassi named new CEO of Roborace

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FIA Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi has been named the new CEO of Roborace, the autonomous electric driving platform.

Roborace was unveiled in November 2015 as a new project to advance autonomous vehicle technology in conjunction with Formula E, the world’s first all-electric single-seater championship.

A series of tests have taken place with a modified Ginetta LMP3 chassis, dubbed a ‘DevBot’, at Formula E events through season three, with the futuristic-looking ‘Robocar’ set to appear at season four events.

Di Grassi was named as Roborace’s new CEO at the Frankfurt Motor Show earlier this week, expanding his business interests outside of his racing career.

“We want to take Roborace where motorsport cannot go, focusing the platform on future road-relevant autonomous technology. The future of mobility is autonomous, that’s an industry consensus now,” di Grassi said.

“In the same way, I believe that motorsport is about the driver, who is the best human being behind the wheel. I want to develop the Roborace series to be complimentary to traditional motorsport, and not to replace it.

“We invite the OEMs, suppliers, technology companies and universities to use our platform to showcase their technology and intellectual capacity in driverless systems. With the technology evolving so fast we must remain flexible on the events, races and challenges we are promoting.”

Di Grassi takes over as CEO from Roborace founder Denis Sverdlov, who will move into an advisory role in order to focus on other projects.

Montreal Mayor cancels Formula E’s planned season four finale

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New Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante has cancelled the FIA Formula E Championship’s planned season four finale, which was set for two races on July 28 and 29, 2018, citing what was termed a “financial fiasco.”

Plante was elected to replace Denis Coderre in the role, and didn’t follow Coderre’s support of the event.

She announced the news today citing financial and logistical challenges she didn’t feel the city could overcome.

Via a report in the CBC, Plante’s administration estimated a potential cost of up to $35 million would needed to be paid by the city’s taxpayers for the event’s second running. Additionally, a nonprofit organization reportedly owes creditors some $9.5 million.

Plante revealed details today in a series of messages posted on Twitter, which you can see in order below.

A Formula E spokesperson supplied a statement of the surprise news to e-racing365.com:

Formula E’s fourth season underwent one calendar change with a return to Punta Del Este, Uruguay replacing a cancelled race in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Whether a replacement can be sourced for this race weekend will now remain to be seen.