Reigning Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi has outlined his vision and opinion on the future of the all-electric championship and where it could be positioned in global motorsport.
The Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler driver has been a sporting and ideological investor in electric and autonomous racing for many years, and was one of the pioneers of the technology long before it became universally recognized.
The six-time E-Prix winner stated that the pace in which Formula E is being recognized and understood is a reflection of the need for more sustainable and efficient future transport.
“The industry suddenly realized that the electric car is the future, including Audi, including everyone. Formula E is changing how racing is viewed and what messages are delivered,” di Grassi told e-racing365.
“I had no doubts. Let me put it this way: when a vision, economy which is related to sustainability is going in the same direction, is very hard to be pushed back, in general. That applies to the automotive industry also.”
The Brazilian believes the accelerated recognition of electric and autonomous vehicles as being an intrinsic part of society will significantly affect how motorsport is viewed and then performs.
“Something that is cheaper to run, is more eco-friendly, makes quality of life of everyone better, is a better product, is more silent – that’s the electric car,” he explained.
Di Grassi also expressed how Formula E and Formula 1 could co-exist in the coming decades and also potentially interact with each other.
“When I say that in one decade or less we can be very close to F1, people laugh. But with the growth that we have and the stabilization, together with a decline of F1, then I don’t see why this could not happen,” he said.
“In ten years or less, the two series could be equal and drivers might switch from one to another, including making the Formula E car as fast as F1. There’s no reason for not doing that.
“I don’t think that Formula E will grow to the same level as Formula 1, but I don’t think that Formula 1 will be at the same level it is now in 10 years’ time.
“Regardless of what is done with a V10 or not V10, V6,etc, and also tires, [something this big], it just won’t matter.”
After becoming CEO of Roborace late last year, di Grassi pointed out that a shift in future generations’ desire for motorsport will largely be because they are anticipated to drive less and there will be more “time efficient activities to be involved in.”
“Twenty years ago there was only football and F1 to watch in Brazil, and now there’s a lot of other stuff increasingly centered around technology,” di Grassi said.
“There is a limited amount that Formula E and Formula 1 can grow, but I think that the two series can co-exist.”