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Audi have solution to problems, unable to fix for Mexico

Audi believe they have found a solution to the problem that has plagued Lucas Di Grassi’s season so far, but won’t be able to implement it in Mexico.

Mechanical problems have led to di Grassi retiring from two of the four races so far this season, and the reigning champion is yet to score a point.

Di Grassi is set to take another 10-place grid penalty in Mexico after the team was forced to change his inverter for a third consecutive race.

Audi has been working on a solution since the Santiago ePrix, when di Grassi stopped on track after a strong first stint.

“We’re confident that we’ve found both the cause and a solution,” said head of motorsport Dieter Gass.

“Unfortunately, the FIA regulations do not allow us to implement the changes until a 30 day period has expired.”

Audi will be able to implement the change ahead of the Punta del Este round in mid-March.

Di Grassi has shown pace already this season. The Brazilian has made two super pole appearances this year and set the fastest lap of the race in the second Hong Kong ePrix.

A problem in qualifying in Marrakesh prompted di Grassi’s first inverter change of the season, only for him to hit problems again just seven laps into the race.

Team principal Allan McNish previously claimed the squad had gotten “to the bottom” of the problem after Marrakesh, only for it to reoccur in Santiago.

Despite the difficulties, the team is hopeful Mexico can be a turning point.

“Although we’re obviously not happy about this situation, we are optimistic that the permanent track characteristics [in Mexico], much like in preseason testing, do not exaggerate any problems,” said Gass.

McNish added: “At the moment, we’re going through a tough time in our young Formula E history.

“But we are as determined as ever and will continue to push to the maximum with Daniel [Abt] and Lucas, in spite of the current challenges.

“We all know how unpredictable a race day can be in Formula E – Lucas’ spectacular victory last year showed that well.”

 

Bethonie Waring

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