Audi driver di Grassi about the new Formula E season: “Number one is tremendous motivation”

Who are the favorites in the title race this season from your point of view?
“That’s hard to answer in Formula E – especially before this season. I have very strong expectations of Renault and Mahindra. At the same time, we should have Virgin, Andretti and Jaguar on our radar as well. There are at least five or six teams in contention for winning races. In addition, in André Lotterer, Edoardo Mortara and Kamui Kobayashi there’ll be some strong new drivers, so it’s near-impossible to make any predictions. The only thing we can be sure of is that this will be the hardest fought season in Formula E history to date.”

What does contesting the season with number one displayed on your car mean to you?
“It’s a good feeling because it shows that we did a good job last season and achieved something exceptional. You don’t get points for that in the new season, but it’s tremendous motivation to give everything again for success.”

Now that São Paulo, Brazil, is on the Formula E calendar we probably don’t need to ask about your favorite race …
“The race in São Paulo makes a dream come true for me. The city is my home and my whole family and my friends are going to be at the race. Still, there are other cities I very much look forward to – such as Rome and Zurich. With new attractive race locations and new manufacturers Formula E is experiencing a real boom at the moment. For me it’s already the second-most relevant racing series after Formula 1. It meets all the prerequisites for further growth in the future.”

In a few days, you’ll be traveling to Hong Kong. How much are you looking forward to the event?
“We’re looking forward to the new Formula E season opener with huge anticipation. We worked hard in the last few months to put another car on the grid that’ll be in contention for victory. The transition from an Audi-supported team to a full-fledged factory-backed commitment was exciting and went smoothly. Now we’re wishing for a good weekend in Hong Kong – preferably with as much success as the one we ended last season with.”

How did you spend the summer break since the Formula E season finale?
“Directly after the finale in July, there were a lot of PR commitments that I wouldn’t describe as work, though. It was nice to see how great international interest in Formula E and in our title win was. Shortly afterwards, the first tests and the work with the engineers and in the simulator started. Particular highlights for me were the two races I contested for Audi during the summer break: the legends race in the Audi Sport TT Cup at Hockenheim and the participation in the GT World Cup in Macau.”