- Full name Lucas Tucci di Grassi
- Birth date August 11, 1984
- Birthplace Sao Paulo, Brazil
- Current age 30 years 285 days
- Teams Virgin
|First race||Bahrain Grand Prix||BIC||March 14, 2010||Race results|
|Last race||Abu Dhabi Grand Prix||Yas Marina||November 14, 2010||Race results|
Lucas di Grassi spent four years on the fringes of Formula One, seeing many of his contemporaries promoted ahead of him, before he finally got a race seat with Virgin. Sadly the promise he showed in GP2 never translated into success in F1 and after a forgettable first season he finds himself on the outside looking in once more.
On his day he has beaten Robert Kubica, Sebastian Vettel, Timo Glock, Romain Grosjean and Bruno Senna in lower formula, but all of them currently have brighter futures in the sport. His greatest single achievement to date was winning the Macau Grand Prix in 2005 with Manor, beating one of the strongest fields in recent years at the F3 race. He held off Kubica and Vettel, winning by just 0.6 seconds while big names like Grosjean, Senna and Kazuki Nakajima barely featured.
This unlocked the door to GP2 where he spent the next four years of his career. His best result in F1's feeder series was in 2007 when he finished second in the championship to Timo Glock. However, his most impressive season was in 2008 when he joined the series halfway through and scored more points than any other driver from that point onwards.
As a Renault development driver, di Grassi tested for the team in 2008 but was beaten to a race seat by Nelson Piquet Jnr. He was then in the running for a Honda drive for 2009, completing a number of tests for the team alongside Senna. However, when the manufacturer withdrew from the sport, new team-owner Ross Brawn opted for experience over youth and kept Rubens Barrichello instead.
His big break came in 2010 with Virgin and he seized it as best he could, but the VR-01 was unreliable and did not provide a platform for his talent. It must be said, however, that his plight was not helped by rookie errors, most notably crashing on the formation lap at Suzuka.
For 2011 he was replaced by Jerome d'Ambrosio - another driver he has outperformed in the past - but the decision was based on budgetary reasons as much anything else. Di Grassi spent the next few years in the World Endurance Championship, as well as recording two podium finishes at the Le Mans 24 Hours. He joined Audi Sport ABT for the inaugural Formula E season and won the series opener in Beijing after a last-corner crash between Nicolas Prost and Nick Heidfeld.
Strengths and Weaknesses
He has consistently racked up podiums in his time in GP2 but a failure to win regularly kept him from becoming champion.
Winning at Macau in 2005 against some of the sport's top names.
Spinning out off on the formation lap at the 2010 Japanese Grand Prix.
When asked who was more successful with the ladies, him or team-mate Dani Clos. "Definitely me, but I have a girlfriend. Actually, I would have been more successful if I didn't have a girlfriend."
"GP2 was my finishing school, my university before I got the job in Formula One. While other categories like F3 are important, I think GP2 plays a very important role as a fine tuning category; it is a fast car, very close to Formula One, and you race at the same circuits."
He took up golf during the 2009 GP2 season and lists Tiger Wood's as one of his sporting heros.