Lucas di Grassi says he was not prepared to take a sizeable risk in order to overtake eventual winner Edoardo Mortara in last weekend’s Hong Kong E-Prix.
The 2016-17 ABB FIA Formula E Champion described how he chose discretion rather than a risky overtaking move in the closing stages of the race after he caught Mortara.
Di Grassi latched onto Mortara, who had already used his second Attack Mode, shortly after the safety car period called to retrieve Stoffel Vandoorne’s car.
Although the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler driver deployed his boost as the safety car pitted, it was not enough for him to find a way past for what was ultimately a battle for the win, factoring in Sam Bird’s post-race penalty.
“The more flat out the race is, the more risk you have to take to overtake, this is clear now,” di Grassi told e-racing365.
“The amount of risk you have to weigh up in order to overtake compared to the return is too high. At least it’s how I saw it.
“So, even if I was much faster than Mortara with Attack Mode, you couldn’t find a gap but it was not possible and he also did a good job, didn’t do any mistakes.”
The Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler driver was earlier able to leapfrog Gary Paffett with a well-executed move shortly after the race was restarted.
“It’s super difficult to overtake here but I knew that I had more pace than Paffett so I overtook him with my only real move of the race,” he explained.
Start Shuffled Out di Grassi
Di Grassi also described how a “busy start” cost him track position in the early phase of the Hong Kong race, with the Brazilian going from fifth on the starting grid to seventh on the first lap.
“I had a good start but Andre [Lotterer], in front of me, had a lot of wheelspin and it got buy at T1,” he said.
“So then I decided to go onto the inside and he went onto the inside as well so I was blocked and then Sam [Bird] and Mortara came on the outside, so it was basically this split-second decision that I couldn’t have gone outside.
“Sometimes it happens but it was not a perfect decision when it was so busy down there.”