Lotterer predicts pitstop injury risk at every Formula E race

Andre Lotterer says the risk of team personnel being injured in Formula E pitstops is an unfortunate "part of racing" and could happen at "every race"

Lotterer predicts pitstop injury risk at every Formula E race

The Techeetah driver clipped the right leg of one of his mechanics as he pulled away from the mid-race car swaps in last weekend's Mexico City race and was given a drivethrough penalty for an unsafe release.

It was the first such incident since FE removed the minimum pitstop time ahead of the Santiago event last month.

When asked if the accident was a consequence of that decision, Lotterer said: "Yeah, I think these are things that are going to occur and show up - maybe every race - but in a different garage.

"Everyone is pushing the limits and the cars, they are so close together, there's not much space for the mechanic to jump off the car once the belts are done.

"But that's the same as other pitstops in other categories - mechanics change tyres [and] it always happens once in a while.

"This is part of racing."

The mechanic suffered ligament damage in the incident, which cost Lotterer a likely points finish.

"I left like usual but it was really a fraction of time, maybe a tiny bit, too early," Lotterer explained. "I don't know what happened.

"He's fine, which is important as well.

"But it's a shame for the result because P7 would have been the position - so points - and instead [it was] P13."

Audi Sport Abt driver Daniel Abt jumped into the lead of the race, which he went on to win, by making a significantly quicker pitstop that NIO rival Oliver Turvey.

The 25-year-old paid tribute to his mechanics but called the process "incredibly stressful".

"I've always said I don't like it. Today I like it of course, but it's very tough," he said.

"It's tougher for the mechanics than for us, for them it's so easy to just get one thing wrong and then it can cost the race or something."

Autosport Says

Scott Mitchell, Autosport Plus Editor @ScottAutosport

The abolishment of the minimum pitstop time is one of the most unpopular decisions I've come across in Formula E.

There's very little space in the FE garages, even in a permanent facility like Mexico, and that means little room for mistakes.

As soon as the protection of a minimum pitstop time was removed it risked an incident, and now we've had the first case of someone being injured completely unnecessarily.

There's no need for this element of competition in the car swaps, which are being dropped at the end of this season anyway.

It's a simple matter of safety, and that's an area that should never be needlessly compromised.

There would be very few complaints from teams or drivers if it was reinstated for the remainder of the season, and this is exactly what should happen.

Otherwise next time - and as Lotterer says, there's a good chance there will be a next time - the consequences could be much more severe.

shares
comments
Dragon appoints F3 graduate and F2 racer Gunther to Formula E role
Previous article

Dragon appoints F3 graduate and F2 racer Gunther to Formula E role

Next article

Formula E Mexico: Emotion of Abt victory surprised Audi boss McNish

Formula E Mexico: Emotion of Abt victory surprised Audi boss McNish
Mortara turns up the heat on Formula E title rivals in Marrakech scorcher Plus

Mortara turns up the heat on Formula E title rivals in Marrakech scorcher

Formula E’s unplanned return to Marrakech provided teams with a fresh challenge in old but familiar surroundings, as Edoardo Mortara kept his cool in melting conditions to triumph and retake the championship lead

Formula E
Jul 4, 2022
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