Former Formula E champion, Lucas di Grassi, has criticised Sebastian Vettel after the four-time Formula 1 champion questioned the series’ relevance.
The 35-year-old is set to leave F1 at the end of this season when his contract with Aston Martin expires, and he has not yet decided whether he will still have an involvement in racing thereafter.
There are options available to him should he want them, including a potential appearance or two in the all-electric series.
As FE enters its Gen 3 era for season nine later this year, di Grassi had previously affirmed that the German would be more than welcome to give it a go.
Making its debut in 2014, FE was designed to re-think racing. The engines are electric, the tyres are all-weather and durable to save on excessive production, and the venues tend to be street circuits or already established racetracks.
A sustainability programme is in place too, ensuring that everyone at each event, from the drivers, to event organisers, to the fans, use sustainable practices throughout race weekends.
In F1, a big pull of the turbo hybrid era is that a lot of the technology is informing the sustainable future of road cars, but Vettel does not see that benefit with FE’s engines.
“I don’t want to be the face for something that doesn’t fully convince me, I don’t understand the meaning behind [Formula E],” he said, quoted by Motorsport Week.
“The battery technology that is being developed has nothing to do with the technology that a normal car could use.”
Di Grassi, who raced in F1 in 2010 with Virgin, rubbished that statement, and indicated that the lack of money involved in FE, compared to F1, might be the real reason Vettel would turn down a seat in the electric series.
“If Vettel don’t want to come to Formula E, it is his choice,” tweeted the Brazilian.
“Although it is the second highest paid series single seater in the world, still far away from a top F1 salary..
“Now to say that the technology of the cars are less relevant to the future of automobiles, he either has no idea of what he is talking about or is trying to mislead the general public on purpose.
“And/or all that green stuff he has been doing lately – collecting trash, riding bicycles etc – is completely greenwashing, not what he truly believes.
“So, whatever he likes or not the series, he should be supportive of it. That’s all.”
Di Grassi won season three of FE in 2018 with Audi, before moving to Susie Wolff’s Venturi team.
The Monaco-based side’s name has disappeared ahead of season nine after their deal with Maserati, and di Grassi has headed to Mahindra following the departure of Alexander Sims.