Through The Eyes of Lucas di Grassi: One Fast Formula E Lap

Is your office job only so much fun? Formula E racer Lucas di Grassi shows us what he sees when he goes to work, and the view from the seat of the F1-trained driver does not look like you’d likely doze off mid-day.

Audi Sport Abt’s driver set the fastest lap time in the second day of practice at the UK’s Donington Park early this month, and a GoPro attached to his helmet’s windscreen shows the view from a car that goes 0-60 in 2.8 seconds, and tops out at 124 mph on this track.

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You may want to turn the volume lower, as all you really hear is wind noise. Absent is the high-rpm wail of an internal combustion engine and quick gear shifts.

Spectators won’t of course hear the wind, but rather, the whine of the motors as cars slice through the wind have event organizers thinking they might pipe in music to the viewers’ seating areas not unlike at a baseball game.

Winning at this sport will require managing the finite energy budget. Note also the cars do not use full racing slicks, but instead high-performance treaded tires with greater longevity, less potential grip.

A “push to pass” rule will permit passing among cars which are closely matched. Known as spec class racing, keeping the cars to the same essential specification is a proven formula for keeping the action up because better funded teams won’t be able to throw money into producing a significantly faster car.

Assuming the cars are all working to spec – the skills of the driver will more fully determine who leads and who wins.

Di Grassi’s fastest lap at Donington was 1:31.973 on day two of practice. The experienced F1 driver knows how to cut a quick pace given a car much slower than an F1 racer, and the next-quickest competitors’ times were from 1:32.089 to 1:34.006.

This means when the racing series begins this September, we’ll see clustered racers, and battles for position involving strategy and technique.

dirwell