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Di Grassi “felt 100% protected” driving in Method E testing after battery fireplace

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Testing on the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Spain was postponed following a battery fireplace within the storage of battery provider WAE (previously generally known as Williams Superior Engineering) on Tuesday afternoon.

Following an investigation by the FIA and WAE, which concluded that “not one of the [other] batteries current the identical sort of signs because the unit that failed”, testing resumed on Thursday afternoon and throughout Friday with no points. 

Di Grassi, who has returned to the Abt Cupra workforce this season, praised the response to the incident by emergency crews in addition to the FIA for updating drivers on the continued scenario. 

“I used to be very relaxed about what occurred to be sincere,” he advised Autosport. 

“I feel the monitor file of Method E having one battery fireplace in 10 years of existence, it is superb.  

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“It is a lot better than any combustion racing sequence had up to now, together with Method 1. So I feel that is not an issue in any respect having one occasion like this.  

“The response from Method E, it was superb. In 20 minutes, all the pieces was hid, everybody was evacuated, the fireplace was contained, it did not unfold out.  

Photograph by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Lucas di Grassi, ABT CUPRA Method E Staff, M9Electro Nico Muller, ABT CUPRA Method E Staff, M9Electro

“So the response was superb and I felt 100% protected contained in the automobile driving, understanding what occurred earlier than and I used to be completely protected driving the automobile for the subsequent two days.” 

The incident was the primary main problem with a battery because the all-electric championship was launched in 2014. 

As a precaution, energy utilization was restricted to 300kw for the rest of the check, whereas fast-charging pitstops have been carried out at a decrease voltage. 

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The FIA additionally confirmed that the batteries used at testing final week, and which is able to return to WAE previous to the season opener in Mexico Metropolis, have been the identical specification as used final 12 months in all 22 automobiles, which was additionally the primary 12 months of the Gen3 machine. 

“We’re on the fringe of battery expertise there with these batteries having the ability to recharge at 600kW, so I do not suppose there’s some other battery on this planet that has this capability,” added di Grassi.  

“While you’re pushing boundaries of expertise, this stuff occur, so I’m not anxious in any respect.  

“I feel the season goes to go as deliberate and all the pieces is ok. I used to be in all probability essentially the most relaxed, however that is simply how I’m. I feel all of the measures have been performed in a correct manner.”

Antonio Felix da Costa, Porsche

Photograph by: Malcolm Griffiths / Motorsport Images

Antonio Felix da Costa, Porsche

Porsche’s Antonio Felix da Costa echoed di Grassi’s feedback on pushing the boundaries of batteries, and that the incident would supply invaluable information shifting ahead almost about EV expertise each in motorsport and on the highway. 

“I don’t suppose we must be right here looking for tales and criticise Williams or Method E or electrical automobiles,” he advised Autosport.  

“I feel it’s not about that it’s about one automobile stopped on monitor, that battery was being seemed into and it occurred.  

“And if something, it could actually even be a Positive factor, we’ve lastly discovered a technique to make a battery catch fireplace after 10 years and it’s solely going to make each electrical automobile on the highway and on the race monitor extra protected for the longer term.”

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