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Formula E’s next race weekend will be its last of the season and Lucas Di Grassi is going into that double-header leading the driver’s championship. Despite that, Autosport.com reports that Di Grassi feels that more support from Audi and/or Volkswagen will be needed in future to keep him and his team competitive.
Although Di Grassi races for Team Abt Schhaeffler Audi Sport, and one of the major sponsors is VW, the team is still considered independent. With a lead of only one point in the driver’s championship and a deficit of 11 points in the team standings, Di Grassi is under no illusions about the safety of his lead.
That’s why he recently said that the team would need more support from the manufacturers.
“Whether it’s any brand from the VW Group – we have two brands on the jacket – it’s very important that as soon as we can, we need support from the factory,” says Di Grassi. “We managed this year to fight against two or more important manufacturers putting a lot more money into the project than we are doing and beat them so far, with a very good drivetrain from Schaeffler.”
Audi or VW would be far from the first manufacturers to become involved Formula E. Of the nine teams racing in the series, five have factory support and the others are either seeking support or have a tentative deal in place.
When he isn’t racing in Formula E, Di Grassi races in the World Endurance Championship, which will be headed to Le Mans in 23 days, racing the Audi R18 LMP1 car that recently won at Spa Francorchamp, so he is well aware of what Audi factory teams are capable of.
“Being a privateer, we will not have the successes we’ve had this year for the years to come,” concludes Di Grassi. “Because the championship is increasing the professionalism and complexity we will need a manufacturer, a full manufacturer, behind us soon.”