Lucas di Grassi raises concerns for Formula E future as F1 chiefs back merger – EXCLUSIVE

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Former Formula 1 driver turned Formula E driver Lucas di Grassi has followed in the footsteps of FIA president Jean Todt and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff in suggesting Formula 1 and Formula E could share a race weekend, however admitted they have different ‘sustainability values’ and says logistics would be ‘impractical’.

Formula E, the all electric series, is often referred to as the future of motorsport, with Formula One actively taking a leaf out of their book to try and reduce its environmental impact and remain relevant to the automotive industry.

Only recently, the founder of FE, Alejandro Agag, called for both FIA-licenced series to merge.

“Bernie [Ecclestone] should have taken control of Formula E, created it inside the fence and controlled it so they could decide where to take it,” Agag told Car Advice.

“Formula E is very different in terms of the level of prestige and audience to Formula One, but I still think the future is a merger between them. I don’t know when this will happen and if the shareholders will want to do it.

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“But I think Formula One needs to make the transition to electric and if it doesn’t do something with Formula E they can only do that in 19 years, because that’s when our licence ends – supposing they get a licence – and that’s too late.”

“We got the rights for 25 years, we’ve done six and we have another 19,” concluded Agag, meaning a merger could be quite far off.

But, speaking exclusively to Express Sport at the Monaco ePrix on Saturday, the Audi driver Di Grassi suggested he could be interested in exploring the idea more.

“Well, I’m actually in favour of this,” explained Di Grassi. “If you bring more public, if you bring more sponsors, more investment, more manufacturers, I’m in favour I think is what we need to do.

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“Formula One and Formula E are two different animals, It’s like rally, and Formula One.

“You could have both events at the same time. But overall, if it diminishes the value of both together or the sum of both separately, then I’m against.

“So I don’t have a fixed opinion about it. I just think that whatever creates more value is the right approach.”

But when asked if the core values between FE and F1 clash, Di Grassi admitted, “Yeah, it’s hard to do the same event.”

“And we are talking about the conceptual idea of having the same event, practicalities much harder because the sponsors are different.

“Sustainability values are different, charging, track, it is very different one to another. So I think it would be impractical to do both series in the same way at the same time.

“And yes, Formula E is creating sustainable technology while Formula One is offsetting the carbon emissions produced.

“Both are sustainable, but there is a very, very important difference. One is pushing electric, one is pushing sustainable technology forward – the other is offsetting their carbon emissions.

“So offsetting you can do with anything, but create a technology and push it forward. It’s a different story.”

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