Venturi’s Lucas Di Grassi has described conditions at the end of the New York E-Prix as “undrivable” and argued the red flag came out a lap too late.
He was one of a number of drivers to be involved in a late race crash which brought out the red flags and ended the race early. The finishing order was taken from a lap before the red flag, and Di Grassi was classified second, behind race winner Nick Cassidy.
Di Grassi had been in the battle for the lead when the ran began.
“You could see that every lap, the cars were sliding more and more, and I personally felt that already, one lap before let’s say the red flag, it already wasn’t drivable, especially out of corner 10, out of the hairpin,” Di Grassi said in the post-race press conference.
“The cars were aquaplaning too much. Even on the straights, they were aquaplaning. I went on the radio and I said it’s undriveable. It’s not safe to drive.
“And the call from the FIA came a bit late, which caused the crash at corner six.”
Di Grassi, Cassidy, and Stoffel Vandoorne all ran straight on at the turn and were unable to make it back to the pits. Others, such as Edoardo Mortara, also ran on at the corner but were able to continue and made it back to the pits to wait for a decision regarding the race restart.
All four drivers were able to walk away from the incident unaided.
“Thankfully, these cars are extremely safe, because this was probably the biggest crash of my Formula E career,” Di Grassi said. “No, it was the biggest crash of my Formula E career today, and without any problems.
“The car is pretty much destroyed, but that shows how safe these cars are. Because I crashed into Nick at at least 100 kph, into a stand still car, and then Stoffel crashed into me at similar speed.
“So I’m very happy with the safety of the car. I have a few bruises, and happy that all the other drivers are also 100%.”