Lucas di Grassi says that a combination of Sebastien Buemi and Robin Frijns’ overly aggressive driving caused his first non-finish from a Formula E race for over a year.
The Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler driver was classified in 15th position but did not take the checkered flag after being taken out of the race by Robin Frijns’ Envision Virgin Racing car late on in the Sanya E-Prix.
It proved to be the first time di Grassi had not finished a race since the Santiago E-Prix in February 2018.
Sebastien Buemi’s Nissan e.dams car triggered the incident after making a move on Frijns’ heading into the tight hairpin in the closing stages of the race.
The subsequent contact pitched Frijns into di Grassi and ended both their races. Buemi was subsequently penalized with a post-race ten-second penalty which dropped him from sixth to eighth position in the final standings.
“Frijns was very aggressive, he doesn’t think at all, and even before that he was already with me defending like crazy, moving and doing crazy stuff,” di Grassi told e-racing365.
“Then also Buemi was very aggressive, so one very aggressive guy, found another very aggressive guy and they both crashed.
“I don’t know who to blame, because Frijns also moved under braking and then Buemi crashed into him because he moved too much also.
“In any case, Frijns braked too late anyway and then they crashed into me. My natural way of viewing is that both of them should get a penalty for the next race.”
Sebastien Buemi was reticent to form an opinion immediately after the incident until he had seen a replay.
“I want to see the video and I want to go to the stewards,” he told e-racing365
“I was looking at the way he [Frijns] was driving for the last three, four laps. I was quite a bit quicker. Before I talk over the accident I want to see it clearly on the camera.”
Di Grassi took to Twitter on Monday morning to complain about the penalties given for the incident, including a claim that Frijns moved under braking.
Di Grassi Attack Zone Woe
Di Grassi had earlier encountered trouble in activating the Attack Zone loops when he attempted to take his first round of Attack Mode boost.
“I tried to use Attack Mode, missed it,” he explained.
“It was my mistake. I carried too much speed, missed it, but in the end, I didn’t lose so much time.
“I missed it twice, one was too quick, the other one was too slow. It was my fault but in the end, we were so quick that we gained those four seconds back.”
Di Grassi was not the only one to miss the loops as Edoardo Mortara endured a similar situation and took a post-race penalty for not completing his second mandatory use of the boost.