BERLIN, Germany – Lucas di Grassi has defended ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport teammate Daniel Abt’s decision to not to let him past on the final lap of the Formula E race in Berlin, saying that the German deserved to finish second.
Di Grassi arrived in Berlin with an 11 point lead at the top of the drivers’ championship, but will head to the season finale in London with an advantage of just one after title rival Sebastien Buemi won Saturday’s race.
Di Grassi fought from eighth on the grid to run third late on behind Abt, who was asked by the team to move aside for his teammate with three laps to go.
Abt explained after the race that he tried to let di Grassi past on the penultimate lap, but he was too far away. On the last lap, he opted not to as he was wary of also losing a position to Renault e.dams driver Nicolas Prost in fourth place.
“I think Lucas has the tools he needs to win it by himself. He’s an amazing racing driver,” Abt said.
“He again managed to finish on the podium, I don’t know how he always does it.”
Despite being denied an extra three championship points that could prove crucial in the title fight against Buemi, di Grassi said that he did not expect or want to be given the position, believing that team orders should only be used when absolutely necessary.
“I’m not a big fan of team orders unless it’s the last race and the event and really necessary for winning a title or something like this,” di Grassi said.
“Daniel did a great qualifying, a great race. He deserved a second place and it would be unfair to change place. I didn’t receive any call and I didn’t ask for any place change. I would never do that unless it was extremely necessary.
“That’s how I behave and I think how the team should behave. Unless it’s the last lap, there should be no team orders. Everybody is racing themselves and that’s how racing should be. So I’m very happy.”
The final two races of the Formula E season take place in London on July 2 and 3.