Lucas Di Grassi has accepted data that showed he had not come to a complete stop in the pit lane Sunday’s London E-Prix, and the Brazilian has been subsequently disqualified from the race.
The Audi driver was called into the pits during the safety car period when the trail of cars was crossing the start/finish line. The safety car was traveling slower than the pit lane speed, which allowed Di Grassi to jump forward from eighth to first.
The Brazilian had to come to a complete stop in the pit lane to satisfy the regulations, which he wasn’t quite able to do, as his rear wheel had not fully stopped rotating even though his front wheels had.
Di Grassi was given a chance to review the evidence and accepted the decision, but admitted that he was proud of his team for rolling the dice the way they did.
“Unfortunately, the wheels had stopped on the car, but the car was still gliding when I pulled away,” explained Di Grassi. ” So, I thought we had come to a stop, it felt like I was stopped, but we weren’t quite stopped yet because of how slippy the surface was. It was this fine detail to why we didn’t win the race.”
“I have to say though I am happy with the decision the team made, it was a risky strategy because we don’t know if the safety car would speed up, and instead of gaining places we could have lost places, but I fully support the decision of the team.”
The 36-year old also admitted that the safety car doesn’t always drive at a consistent pace, which makes it tricky to judge if these types of moves are available to do or not.
“We have seen this before in Berlin where drivers came into the pits and gained an advantage, but the safety car drives at different speeds, sometimes it is fast and sometimes it is slow. You need to be sure that you will gain positions from attempting this, but I do expect that if the safety was that slow in other races that others will try and do what we tried today.