Andre Lotterer, Techeetah, Formula E, Saudi Arabia, 2018

Di Grassi expects “true picture” of FE teams’ performance in Morocco

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Lucas di Grassi says the second Formula E race of the 2018-19 season will give a truer picture of how competitive the teams are.

What they say

The 2016-17 champion, who finished ninth in last month’s season-opening race, spoke to RaceFans in Morocco yesterday:

For sure we have full understanding that DS is quick, BMW is quick. We knew that from Valencia already. Our true pace was not there in Riyadh. But this race here I think we have a better understanding of how we are truly compared to the others. Riyadh also was compromised because of my disqualification from qualifying so I started at the back. When you start at the back now without pit stops in a track like Riyadh that you stay pretty much flat-out the whole race it was very difficult to overtake. Even so we managed to gain nine places.

I could have done better, not at the same pace as DS or BMW but I think the car was much better than people realised. But I think the true picture we’ll see here. It’s a track with a lot of straights, we can see really the drivetrain performance, we’ve been here before so we know more or less how the set-up needs to be. So I think here is like a reset and a true understand of how we are compared to the others.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Are we being too accommodating towards Formula E?

How many times have we seen articles like this? Not but a month ago the headline was ‘From curiosity to credibility?’ I feel the world is trying to shovel Formula E down my throat.

If this wants to be an analysis of what the second generation cars have produced, doing it after just one race doesn’t seem appropriate. Especially given it was the first time they tried that Mario Kart-style gimmick.

I don’t like Formula E, and I tried watching a lot of races, including the first race of this season. It’s just too slow, too unexciting, it has Fanboost which I despise. And particularly at the last race, the coverage of the race was the worst I’ve ever seen in any motorsport race. I had no idea what was happening, they didn’t explain it to me, they were just as clueless, I had no information regarding penalties, why were they given and when were they taken. It also feels a bit amateurish. But I’m sure that’s going to change now that there are so many respected drivers in it. Until last year, it was just a bunch of F1 rejects.

As a marketing tool, it works just fine and I respect the series for ‘bringing motorsport to the people’ in a way. I don’t like it but I still watch it, even more now that’s readily available on Youtube. If F1 was on Youtube for free, everyone would watch it and it’d be an even bigger thing marketing wise, I’m sure. It brings manufacturers attention because it’s cheap and it makes them look good in this new green present/future we’re living.

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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15 comments on “Di Grassi expects “true picture” of FE teams’ performance in Morocco”

  1. +1 CoTD

    Although, it’s good fun to watch Di Grassi pontificating with pointless hypocrisy in his statement about dead dinosaur fuelled racing going the way of the dinosaurs. And now, his expert opinion on the ‘true’ performance of the tamest spec series on the planet.

    F1 preseason testing can’t come soon enough. Not even the e-peened genius power of Di Grassi can make slow news days move faster.

    1. When a politician or company CEO keeps pontificating about how well they are doing… you know they are in trouble…
      Just get on with FE, and let the eventual results show us what will happen.
      All this BS reminds me of school yard jibes… ‘My dad’s bigger than your dad…!’

    2. I am a big fan of FE, I think it’s fantastic. But I do agree with CotD – it feels like a lot of journalists and websites are trying a bit too hard to convince everyone that Formula E is the next best thing. is the worst, even considering they have a financial relationship.

      It almost feels like clickbait – put something up related to Formula E and you can guarantee that hundreds of F1 fans will swarm the comments section to reiterate that they “watched a few races” but it was “boring” and that they’d never accept that quiet cars, street circuits and fanboost could be “real racing”. Like they have to defend F1’s honour whenever someone dares highlight FE’s positive points.

  2. Morocco performance is terrific

  3. I agree with Isola. If anything, the rule of the Q3-drivers having to start the races with the set used for each one’s PB in Q2 should be scrapped rather than making two-stops mandatory instead of the one at present.

    I wish there’d be more circuits in Assetto Corsa. In general, the current number of venues feels a bit too low.

    How many separate articles about Carlos Ghosn are going to be included on round-ups?

  4. I’d like to see RaceFans give the same coverage to FE as they do F1. After all, this isn’t F1 Fanatic any more.

    I came here to see the session timings but there’s no article about them. F1 gets one.

    I was also looking to a build up article but nothing, just one stirring the pot about if people want to watch the sport or not.

    Shame, and disappointing.

  5. I disagree with COTD. While the fanboost and that new “off the racing powerboost” thing is awful, I for one like it… I do struggle to keep up with teams and drivers as the changes seem to be pretty frequent but I certainly don’t agree with the F1 rejects line. Di Grassi, Buemi and Vergne never had the cars to shine in F1 and Heidfeld can’t be considered a reject, other drivers such as Rosenqvist and Bird were pretty handy too. The problem with FE for people is the fact that it is so different from what we are used to but that is not a bad thing and this series is the most relevent for manufacturers. The f1 engines are awesome things but lets face it…. the internal combustion engine is antiquated now, yes we have all the energy recovery systems but that is not the long term future….

  6. Rare occasion nowadays of me agreeing with the CotD, but here it is.
    At least with the shoveling part.
    I am a bit curious, why many outlets trying that hard to hype up FE. Motorsport network is somewhat understandable, as they have shares in FE. This last thing is worrying at minimum, considering honest reporting about the series.
    FE seems to try to do the exact opposite extreme what Bernie did with F1 regarding targeting. Agag & co tries to cater to the 12-18 yo group pretty hard (see “influencers”, the on screen graphics, mid race “emotes” like in games, attack mode, and so on… ) while Mr. E wanted to focus on middle aged and older people with high income.
    One other thing which sets apart the series from anything else, that it is established and managed not as a sport series but as a pr and marketing platform for EV OEMs. Sporting values are secondary at best.

  7. Brief follow-up on the Bottas story that was in the round up a few days ago: the CEO of Wihuri said in an interview that the Bottas’ results simply weren’t good enough to warrant continuing the sponsorship, especially in the latter part of the year “he drove rather poorly” and “was only fifth in the championship which is a poor result”. In the same interview, he also said that they are dropping their support for Niko Kari (F2 driver in the latter part of 2018) as well, but continuing with another Finn, Simo Laaksonen (who competed in GP3 last year).

    Full story here (in Finnish):

    1. @kaiie – that’s interesting, thank you for sharing. Seeing as Wihuri also sponsor the Mercedes F1 team, is that also changing/stopping? If yes, that is not going to bode well for Bottas’ chances in 2020.

      1. @phylyp According to the article, they’ve discontinued the partnership with Mercedes as well.

        1. @kaiie – ah, so Bottas’ countdown has in all likelihood begun.

    2. @kaiie When even his own can’t bear to watch, it’s tough. Trouble is that even if he should stand up for himself this year it will just seem like sour grapes and that’s not good either. At least Raikkonen did his ‘butlering’ somewhat reluctantly to still be generally respected.

  8. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
    12th January 2019, 13:35

    Gotta agree with COTD over fanboost and the hyping. FE can sometimes be entertaining for sure, but after all this years, it stil feels gimmicky

  9. Sorry if it got mentioned yesterday, but confirmation that there is definitely no way back for Rockingham:
    They’re ready to rip down the grandstands.

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