PARIS – Lucas di Grassi has clarified comments made in an interview where he said that Formula 1 champions Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel would “have a hard time” in Formula E.
Di Grassi raced for Virgin Racing back in 2010 on the same grid as Hamilton and Vettel, but has since found success in sportscars and Formula E.
The Brazilian finished third in the inaugural Formula E drivers’ championship for the ABT Audi Sport team, and currently leads the standings ahead of this weekend’s Paris ePrix.
In an interview with CNN, di Grassi said that he thought the likes of Hamilton and Vettel would struggle to get to grips with Formula E.
“They would have a hard time in Formula E,” Di Grassi said.
“They are incredible drivers. I raced with them since we were kids in go-karts. They are the most talented drivers of our generation and maybe, I would say, a lifetime.
“But if they came to Formula E they would have to learn the tracks, they are city tracks. I would invite them to come to race and see how it is. They would be tough competition but they would have a hard time.”
In a press conference ahead of this weekend’s race in Paris, di Grassi clarified his comments, saying that he did not think Hamilton and Vettel would not succeed in Formula E, but simply that not all those who had made the switch from F1 to the series had hit the ground running.
“I would like to comment on something said on CNN, that I said Vettel and Hamilton would have a difficult time in Formula E,” di Grassi said.
“I said that and I mean it. They are the most outstanding guys of our generation. I wouldn’t say that they won’t succeed, but it’s so different and it’s so difficult to drive.
“Formula E is so different to anything else. You see a lot of very good drivers who did not succeed in Formula E. You can see here in this line-up sitting here together and the drivers out on track, they are extremely good.”