A long time advocate for a cleaner environment, Formula E driver and UN ambassador Lucas di Grassi, is working hard in the fight against air pollution.

16 December, 2019

In motorsport, the term ‘clean air’ usually refers to a driver getting out in front of the opposition – into ‘clean air’ – as opposed to racing in the choppy, often heated air of a car in front. Not only does the ‘dirty air’ of the car in front effect the aerodynamics of a race car, but depending on the glass of racing, can disturb flow to the radiator and cause problems with cooling. Lesson over.

In this instance, Formula E driver and UN ambassador, Lucas di Grassi is on a mission to learn as much as he can about air pollution to help in his fight for clean air.

Lucas di Grassi is a founding member of the all-electric Formula E and the most successful driver of the series in terms of points and podium finishes. He is also an official UN ambassador for clean air since the spring of 2018 and in this role, he represented Formula E at the international Climate Week in New York City, where he promoted electric mobility in a keynote speech.

Most recently, di Grassi took part in a joint mission with the UN and Formula E to obtain a personal impression in one of the world’s most polluted cities, New Delhi, and to meet with people for whom air pollution and its consequences are part of everyday life. 

“The trip was an eye-opener for me, because I saw first-hand how serious the immediate effects of air pollution on people can be,” says Lucas di Grassi. “I may have learned more during these few days than on all of my previous trips around the world. It’s our duty to do something.” 

“I understood that the challenges are much greater and above all more complex than we think. There’s not just a single cause. That’s why the fight for clean air and the economic development of a country have to go hand in hand,” says di Grassi.
“These experiences would not have been possible without Formula E,” says di Grassi. The champion of the 2016/2017 season is aware of the fact that Formula E on its tour around the world also leaves behind an environmental footprint. “But for me, Formula E is the only series – in this case in collaboration with the United Nations – that focuses public attention on the problems of our times. This documentary video is a perfect example.” 

Audi is also pursuing its own ambitious vision of operating with a carbon-neutral footprint by 2050. Not only is the brand’s involvement in Formula E one example of the company’s direction, but Audi is planning the market launch of more than 30 electrified models by 2025, as well as pursuing various pilot projects to also reduce emissions outside of vehicles.