Di Grassi has been a part of the all-electric sequence since its inception, enjoying a significant position within the growth of the unique prototype that was used for its inaugural season in 2014.
With 12 wins, 35 podium finishes and the 2016-17 title, di Grassi is well one of the vital profitable drivers in Components E – though he hasn’t contended for the title in current seasons.
There have been query marks over the Brazilian’s future in FE following Audi’s current exit from the sequence, however the 37-year-old has managed to strike a take care of Mercedes buyer crew Venturi to stay within the class for the ultimate season of the Gen2 period subsequent yr.
The place the 37-year-old will race in 2023 stays unsure, however the Abt crew is eager to return to Components E when the extra highly effective Gen3 automobiles come to steam, with di Grassi on the helm.
Forward of his maiden DTM race appearances at Hockenheim this weekend, di Grassi mentioned it’s not possible to dovetail his current commitments with a full-season drive in one other championship – however the German class could be his “first alternative” ought to his Components E stint involves an finish.
“I raced in two championships when Audi was within the WEC, so 2014, ’15, ’16 I used to be racing in each Components E and the WEC within the LMP1,” he mentioned. “And I believe we’re reaching some extent the place it’s unlikely to race a minimum of full-time in two championships like DTM and Components E.
“You must first, deal with one, and second, the quantity of labor essential to do it and the clashes, as a result of this yr there have been three or 4 clashes for instance for Nico Muller. He was doing two championships at one level and he wanted to resolve which precedence he would take.
“My precedence continues to be Components E for the following yr a minimum of or the years to return. Let’s have a look at the way it goes. I believe DTM is an incredible championship. I do not know what I’d be doing after two or three years.
“Let’s put it this fashion, if I do not race in Components E, DTM would most likely be my first alternative because the championship is extraordinarily good and very high-profile.”
Di Grassi will make his DTM bow in a fourth Audi R8 LMS GT3 fielded by Abt Sportsline, extending a relationship that started in Components E forward of the sequence’ inaugural marketing campaign in 2014/15.
He examined the Audi RS5 DTM automobile in 2013 however hasn’t raced in GT3 automobiles since his Macau GT outing in 2017 led to a crash.
The Brazilian revealed that talks of competing in DTM began off as a joke with Abt crew boss Thomas Biermaier, earlier than he signed an settlement to contest the ultimate two rounds of the season – with di Grassi’s Audi carrying the identical livery with which he gained the 2016-17 Components E crown.
“Since I joined Audi in 2012, the primary time I examined the DTM automobile was with Nico [Muller] collectively at Pink Bull Ring after which Estoril,” he mentioned. “So yeah, super-excited to be becoming a member of the DTM.
“Thomas Biermaier from Abt got here to me in Berlin. After all we’re all a bit unhappy that Abt after seven years is leaving Components E, and Audi as properly.
“It began as a joke. He mentioned ‘what do you concentrate on racing DTM?’ and I used to be like, ‘for those who pay me sufficient, I am going to race’. After which the joke turned form of actuality.
“We ended up finalising for example extending the connection past Components E, which was superb with Abt. and I hope that’s just the start.
“So I’ll have a bit of little bit of enjoyable in DTM, hopefully not disturb the championship contenders or anyone round [me] an excessive amount of, I am simply there to have my first expertise.”