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
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula E
Drivers Andre Lotterer
Author Alex Kalinauckas
How Formula E stood up to F1 comparisons in Monaco Plus

How Formula E stood up to F1 comparisons in Monaco

OPINION: It was no surprise to anybody that the laptimes achieved by Formula E cars on the full Monaco circuit were much slower than Formula 1. But perhaps the more relevant comparison was in the racing spectacle, where FE delivered in spades

Formula E
May 12, 2021
How Monaco dealt Formula E a winning hand to cure its hangover Plus

How Monaco dealt Formula E a winning hand to cure its hangover

Formula E faced much criticism in the wake of its maligned Valencia event. In need of a turnaround, the series' first use of Monaco's iconic Formula 1 layout provided it with the injection of thrills required to clear the fog that had enveloped the paddock

Formula E
May 10, 2021
How Valencia E-Prix farce left Formula E with an image problem Plus

How Valencia E-Prix farce left Formula E with an image problem

Formula E was under the microscope at Valencia, on its first visit to a permanent circuit. But after a mere nine drivers were left classified following Saturday's Valencia E-Prix, the electric championship once more faced criticism after rising energy deductions and miscalculations produced a farcical affair

Formula E
Apr 25, 2021
The silver bullet signing that has launched Jaguar into title contention Plus

The silver bullet signing that has launched Jaguar into title contention

It's taken a long time for Jaguar to reach the cusp of contending for championships in Formula E. But, after last season's challenge crumbled in Berlin, the team has been bolstered by a top-line arrival who has helped to end an unwanted 30-year wait

Formula E
Apr 22, 2021
How Vergne and Vandoorne found redemption in Rome Plus

How Vergne and Vandoorne found redemption in Rome

Another Formula E double-header, another double dose of frantic action. While the form guide remains unpredictable following fightback wins for Jean-Eric Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorne in Rome, the speed and consistency of Mercedes – both on and off the track – could have its rivals worried for what is to follow

Formula E
Apr 12, 2021
What Nissan's commitment to Gen3 reveals about Formula E's future Plus

What Nissan's commitment to Gen3 reveals about Formula E's future

Formula E's Gen3 era grid continues to take shape, after Nissan opted to commit to the series for another four years. Nissan's global chief operating officer explains why it has thrown its lot in with FE while other high-profile marques have decided to call it quits

Formula E
Mar 24, 2021
Why the new Formula E season got off to such a controversial start Plus

Why the new Formula E season got off to such a controversial start

With the new Formula E season belatedly getting underway in Saudi Arabia, the championship appeared to try to make up for lost time with an overspill of action and controversy on and off the track. While some talking points could have serious repercussions, it was an explosive opener for many reasons

Formula E
Mar 1, 2021
How Andretti is planning for life after BMW Plus

How Andretti is planning for life after BMW

Michael Andretti's team is a Formula E ever-present and that's not about to change despite BMW's forthcoming exit. But, with both its drivers contracted to the German giant and McLaren weighing up a possible entry, some key decisions lie ahead

Formula E
Feb 26, 2021