Berlin Formula E: Audi's Abt keeps pole despite power mode breach

Audi driver Daniel Abt has kept pole for today's Formula E race in Berlin despite inadvertently being in the 200kW power mode before his first flying lap in qualifying

Berlin Formula E: Audi's Abt keeps pole despite power mode breach

Abt was investigated as his car was intermittently in the 200kW setting for around 350 metres prior to the start of the final sector, ahead of his flying lap in Saturday's group qualifying running.

According to Article 33.3 of FE's sporting code, drivers are only allowed to activate the full-power mode in the final sector ahead of their laps in qualifying and superpole.

Although Abt and his Audi team could not explain why the 200kW setting had been activated early, the stewards elected not to impose a sporting penalty as he did not gain a performance advantage.

But Abt has been handed a formal reprimand as a result of the incident.

"The stewards received data from the technical delegate that showed car 66 intermittently at 200kW over a distance of about 350 metres prior to the beginning of the last sector," read an official bulletin.

"The stewards heard from the driver and team manager who could not explain how this happened under their operational process.

"The stewards understand that this regulation is in place for reasons of battery longevity on this circuit.

"This early usage of maximum power does not lead to a performance advantage for the car on its fastest lap.

"Accordingly, the stewards feel that a sporting penalty is inappropriate in these circumstances."

Abt will, therefore, line up on pole for his home race ahead of NIO's Oliver Turvey and championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne.

Pole at the Tempelhof Airport track is Abt's second in FE after he qualified in first place for the Long Beach race during the electric championship's inaugural season in 2014/15.

"It was a really good qualifying - I'm really happy, of course," Abt said. "[A] home race is always special and being P1 is incredible.

"I'm just trying to enjoy the day and make it a good one."

Techeetah driver Andre Lotterer qualified 18th, but will start last due to the 10-place grid penalty he received after he was adjudged to have caused his collision with Sam Bird in the closing corners at the previous round in Paris.

But as Lotterer can only drop two places from where he qualified - elevating Luca Filippi and Nico Prost from 19th and 20th - he will serve a 10-second penalty during his mid-race car swap.

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Series Formula E
Drivers Daniel Abt
Teams Team Abt
Author Alex Kalinauckas
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