Lotterer defends lap one Vandoorne clash in Rome E-Prix

Andre Lotterer has defended his first-lap collision with Stoffel Vandoorne for the lead of the Rome E-Prix, blaming the Mercedes driver for lifting early and ‘leaving me no space’.

Lotterer defends lap one Vandoorne clash in Rome E-Prix

Race director Scot Elkins elected to start the field behind the safety car on account of the wet track, but when green flag conditions were called Lotterer attempted an opening-lap pass on polesitter Vandoorne into the Turn 7 left-hander.

The Porsche driver dived up the inside of the 90-degree corner and made contact with Vandoorne.

That forced the Mercedes driver down an escape road to re-join in 13th, while Lotterer nosed into the tyre barrier before reversing, dropping only to seventh.

Despite a broken front wing, Lotterer was running in the top 10 on the road when the race was neutralised behind a safety car called following Vandoorne's late crash - caused by a manhole cover while negotiating the stricken Audi of Lucas di Grassi - but a five-second race time penalty dropped him to 16th.

Despite the stewards’ decision, Lotterer put the blame on Vandoorne, telling Autosport: “He took it really easy.

“I was close by and he lifted very early for Turn 7, so I went for it. He saw that I went for it.

“He defended quite aggressively and left me no space. When someone sends it like that, if you turn in, you're going to crash.

Andre Lotterer, Tag Heuer Porsche

Andre Lotterer, Tag Heuer Porsche

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

“OK, it was maybe an early move, but we are racing. Unfortunately, that completely compromised the race and damaged my front wing.

“My steering was all over the place. Still, I was in a race. But then the wing went under the wheel and I had to give up positions to survive this moment.”

Vandoorne said to Autosport that “it was a bit unnecessary to take that risk on lap one”.

He continued: “Especially, Turn 7 was one of the most slippery corners.

“He was 20-30 metres behind and just had a late lunge, which for the opening lap was a little bit unnecessary.

“We just needed to kind of figure out the conditions, stay there and then play the race from there.

“It obviously compromised his race and compromised my race massively as well.”

Nissan e.dams racer Oliver Rowland, handed a drivethrough penalty for exceeding energy limits which was suspected to be a result of car repairs following his qualifying brush with the wall, sided with Vandoorne.

Vandoorne leads Lotterer on lap one

Vandoorne leads Lotterer on lap one

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Chasing the pair, Rowland inherited the lead after their crash before having to visit the pitlane.

He told Autosport: “My only thing to say is the first lap, maybe it was a little bit early to try something like that.

“Especially with the conditions. It was very wet.

“I get that Andre wanted to get in front of them try and get away, but at the same time it was a little bit late.

“I was trying to survive, clearly his mentality was to get to the front and go. I was thinking just stay on the island.”

shares
comments
Di Grassi: "No reason" for car to break down in Rome E-Prix
Previous article

Di Grassi: "No reason" for car to break down in Rome E-Prix

Next article

Rome E-Prix: Cassidy tops damp practice ahead of Guenther

Rome E-Prix: Cassidy tops damp practice ahead of Guenther
How Formula E's double-duty drivers influenced their Le Mans teams' fortunes Plus

How Formula E's double-duty drivers influenced their Le Mans teams' fortunes

Eight Formula E drivers made the 7,000-mile sprint from the streets of Jakarta to the fabled Circuit de la Sarthe and every one had a story to share at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours. Despite a range of triumphs and disappointments, each driver doubling up on the day job played a key role in their teams' fortunes

Le Mans
Jun 14, 2022
How Evans kept cool in Jakarta heat to renew his Formula E title push Plus

How Evans kept cool in Jakarta heat to renew his Formula E title push

Jean-Eric Vergne had comfortably taken a landmark pole for Formula E's first visit to Indonesia and looked set to win his first race of a highly consistent campaign. But the DS Techeetah driver couldn't answer a late attack from Jaguar's Mitch Evans, who profited from the Frenchman's change in battery management tactics to seize a third win of the campaign

Formula E
Jun 6, 2022
Why de Vries' F1 practice debut could add a new path to his current crossroads Plus

Why de Vries' F1 practice debut could add a new path to his current crossroads

A Formula 2 and Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is currently considering where his future in motorsport lies. Continuing in WEC and Formula E is possible and he's also courted glances Stateside after impressing in an IndyCar test. But ahead of his Formula 1 FP1 debut with Williams, he could have another option if he impresses...

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
How Jake Dennis’ struggles turned him into a Formula E front-runner Plus

How Jake Dennis’ struggles turned him into a Formula E front-runner

Having emerged as one of Formula E’s strongest drivers in his one-and-a-half seasons in the championship, Jake Dennis cemented his place in the series with a breakout maiden season. But it's not always been smooth sailing for the Brit

Formula E
May 10, 2022
How Vandoorne recaptured Mercedes' winning feeling in Monaco Plus

How Vandoorne recaptured Mercedes' winning feeling in Monaco

The Mercedes Formula 1 team is struggling, but its Formula E arm is in fine form at the moment and once again leads the drivers' standings courtesy of Stoffel Vandoorne. Here's how the Belgian took a well-judged Monaco victory to emerge at the head of the brewing four-way championship tussle

Formula E
May 2, 2022
Will lighter, greener, faster Gen3 deliver on Formula E's many promises? Plus

Will lighter, greener, faster Gen3 deliver on Formula E's many promises?

With a fighter-jet inspired design, revamped technical specifications and a new tyre supplier, Formula E's Gen3 car is set to shake up the series. But can it deliver on all of the promises that Formula E has set out to ensure that manufacturers consider the outlay on going racing in an all-electric arena worthwhile?

Formula E
Apr 29, 2022
Why spanning different genres has lent Lotterer's career longevity Plus

Why spanning different genres has lent Lotterer's career longevity

Although now well into his 24th consecutive season in racing, Andre Lotterer has no intention of winding his career down. Here he talks to Autosport about his and Porsche's continued progress in Formula E, his love for racing in Japan, and recalls his sole Formula 1 outing - and considers what's next in his lengthy career

Formula E
Apr 27, 2022
Why Nissan's e.dams buyout signifies its Formula E victory intent Plus

Why Nissan's e.dams buyout signifies its Formula E victory intent

The e.dams Formula E squad is one of the most storied in the championship's short history as its original benchmark, but its successes in the Gen2 era have been fleeting by comparison. Nissan's decision to take full control ahead of Gen3 marks a statement of intent that it intends to get back to winning ways

Formula E
Apr 12, 2022