Di Grassi: F1 drivers would struggle to adapt to Formula E

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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.”

Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
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Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

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Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.