Di Grassi admits title chances “very unlikely”

Lucas di Grassi believes he and his Audi teammates Loic Duval and Oliver Jarvis are "very unlikely" to overhaul the #2 Porsche in the WEC drivers' title fight.

Di Grassi admits title chances “very unlikely”
LMP1 polesitters #8 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18: Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval, Oliver Jarvis
#8 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval, Oliver Jarvis
#8 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval, Oliver Jarvis
Oliver Jarvis, André Lotterer, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Sport, , Audi Sport Team Joest
#8 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval, Oliver Jarvis
#8 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval, Oliver Jarvis
Podium: second place Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval, Oliver Jarvis, Audi Sport Team Joest
#8 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval, Oliver Jarvis

The trio start Sunday’s 6 Hours of Fuji from pole position, with the combined times of di Grassi and Duval proving just enough to edge out the #1 Porsche driven by Mark Webber and Timo Bernhard by 0.025s.

It means the #8 crew will begin the Japanese race 36.5 points behind the #2 Porsche of Neel Jani, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb in the standings, having gained a point for pole.

Di Grassi nonetheless maintains that, with only 77 points still on offer, the chances of overturning the deficit remain slim.

“It's very unlikely,” the Brazilian told Motorsport.com. “It’s doable, but it’s unlikely. We need a little bit of luck, even if we take 10 points per race it’s not enough. 

“We have to just focus on good results every time, because you never know. We might be 24 points behind going into the last race, then we win and they don’t finish. 

“We have to keep fighting while it’s still possible – as we saw at Le Mans, these races are only finished at the flag.”

Pole doesn't change anything

Asked if the #8 car’s pole position makes the Fuji race a good opportunity to claw back ground on the #2 Porsche, which starts sixth, di Grassi said: “Qualifying doesn’t change anything, because you can start sixth or 10th and still win the race.”

He added: “We didn’t expect to fight for pole. Porsche and Toyota both looked quick, so I knew we had to a very good qualifying to have any chance.

“I was not very happy [with my lap] because I had a lot of traffic, I didn’t put a clean lap together, still had some margin to go. 

“But everyone else had a problem in the first runs, Loic did a good lap on the second run and averaged just enough to be on pole.

“The extra point is important, but the race is much more important so we need to make sure we have a clean race and that everything goes to plan.”

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Points leader Jani laments “our worst qualifying in history”
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