Three weeks after seeing another Formula E win taken by a post-race disqualification, Lucas di Grassi and his Abt team vow to fight back this Saturday at Long Beach.
His commanding victory in Mexico City was stripped as his first car was found to be underweight during the race and Jerome D’Ambrosio inherited the 25 points, as he did when Di Grassi was also disqualified in Berlin during season one.
The final result also pushed the Brazilian’s title rival Sebastien Buemi into second and saw the Swiss take a commanding 22-point lead heading into the second half of the 11-race season.
Speaking ahead of his trip to the American West coast, di Grassi, who claimed a podium on the sport’s first visit to the famed street circuit in 2015, was keen to get what begins a busy spell for him off to a good start.
“An action-packed spell now starts for me, with four races in the WEC and Formula E within five weeks. It kicks off with Formula E in Long Beach – a name synonymous with great tradition in motorsport,” he said.
“The atmosphere with the circuit directly on the waterfront is impressive. The fans can look forward to an exciting race.
“My goal is clear: I aim to fight for a podium finish and if possible victory – we’ve achieved this at every race so far this season.”
The former F1 racer also claims to have put the disappointment of Mexico behind him and remains solely focussed on battling Buemi despite the much-increased gap to the eDams driver.
“Being disqualified in Mexico was obviously a setback in the fight for the title,” he admitted. “My team has dealt precisely with the circumstances and will do everything in its power to prevent this happening ever again.
“The issue is now closed for me and I’m only looking forward now: six races, a good 150 points – there is plenty to aim for and our ambition remains unbroken.
“In Mexico we lost together, the next time we’ll win together again.”
As for his team-mate Daniel Abt, the German enjoyed his first Formula E pole at Long Beach last year and indeed seems to flourish in the States having finished third at the Miami ePrix the race before.
Perhaps that comes from Abt’s admission that he enjoys visiting the US and is looking to build from a strong weekend in Mexico after making it to the Super Pole before dropping to sixth in the race.
“I simply love the atmosphere in the States, the climate, the cities, the whole way of life.”
Indeed he has travelled to LA a little sooner than the rest of the team as he takes in the sights and sounds of California before concentrating on the race from Thursday and the youngest driver on the grid aims to match his passion for America with an equally strong result.
“I want to make Super Pole in Long Beach and then fight for the podium in the race,” he said.
As a team, Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport will be keen to make up for what ended as a disastrous day in Mexico.
D’Ambrosio and Loic Duval’s first and fourth places at the AutodromoHermanos Rodriguez saw a huge 34-point swing in favour of the Dragon Racing team.
The American squad jumped into second in the Constructors’ standings, albeit a further 34 points behind the leading Renault eDams team.
With determination on their side, Dragon Racing will face a stiff challenge to build on their lead over Abt outfit on the streets of Long Beach on Saturday afternoon.