Lucas di Grassi has been confirmed at Mahindra for the 2023 Formula E season alongside Oliver Rowland, in what is believed to be a long-term deal that could involve the 2016/17 champion moving into a management position in the future.
Di Grassi, who equalled Sebastien Buemi’s record tally of 13 wins at the London E-Prix last month, actually agreed a deal with the British based, Indian team last summer just after he did the deal to move from the withdrawing Audi Sport Abt squad to Venturi for the present season.
It means that 2022 will be di Grassi’s only campaign for Venturi where he has partnered Edoardo Mortara in the final season for the niche Monegasque constructor before it metamorphoses into Maserati this autumn.
Mahindra’s swoop for di Grassi comes two weeks after it confirmed that the Brazilian’s former team Abt will be its powertrain customer for the duration of the Gen3 era. Di Grassi scored 12 of his 13 E-Prix wins with the German team which transitioned into a factory Audi squad in 2017.
Di Grassi described his move to Mahindra as representing “a new challenge in my career and the timing could not be better: with the introduction of Gen3 in season nine of the FIA Formula E World Championship, everyone is starting from scratch.
“Having a seven-year relationship with Abt Sportsline, in which we won the world championship together, will give us a good springboard – the team will use the Mahindra Racing powered by ZF powertrain and this additional data and my close connection to the engineers will stand us in good stead.
“The short-term target is to win races and long-term is to help Mahindra Racing to win the world championship and become an icon in electric racing worldwide.”
Mahindra Racing CEO and team principal, Dilbagh Gill called di Grassi “one of the greatest Formula E drivers in the history of the sport – the stats and the silverware do the talking” but said that was just part of the attraction of signing him.
“For us, his appeal is much wider than that,” Gill continued.
“We believe Lucas is perfectly positioned to do this and we are ready to get him bedded into our ground-breaking Gen3 programme within the coming weeks.
“Our ambition is for Mahindra Racing to become FIA Formula E world champions and Lucas’s experience and drive will be instrumental in achieving this.”
Rowland has already been confirmed as staying on with Mahindra next season.
As The Race revealed in July, his current team-mate Alexander Sims will leave Mahindra and Formula E as he is set to concentrate on endurance racing in 2023.