Techeetah Formula E team: Gutierrez IndyCar move breached contract

An alleged breach of contract between Esteban Gutierrez and the Techeetah Formula E team has been referred to the FIA International Tribunal

Techeetah Formula E team: Gutierrez IndyCar move breached contract

Ex-Formula 1 driver Gutierrez joined Techeetah for the Mexico City FE round in April and raced for the team in Monaco and Paris as well.

He was then announced as the replacement for the injured Sebastien Bourdais at the Dale Coyne Racing IndyCar team and made his series debut in the Detroit round last weekend.

Gutierrez and Coyne expressed an interest in striking a deal for the remainder of the IndyCar season, which would include clashes with the final three FE rounds - starting with this weekend's Berlin double-header.

As a result, last Saturday the Venturi team announced it was releasing Stephane Sarrazin to replace Gutierrez at Techeetah with immediate effect.

Techeetah formally confirmed Gutierrez's appointment on Friday in Berlin, where it was investigated by FE stewards because it had changed its driver less than two weeks before the race - a breach of Article 19.1 of the series' sporting regulations.

Techeetah claimed the change was a case of force majeure as Gutierrez had "breached his contract...and decided to compete in another series, which conflicted with Formula E", according to the race stewards.

The stewards' report confirmed no further action would be taken on Techeetah but said they would "refer this alleged breach of contract to the FIA International Tribunal".

A similar investigation into the Venturi team, which released Sarrazin to join Techeetah and named Tom Dillmann as his replacement, ended in a €5000 fine for the Monegasque team.

Techeetah would not make an official comment on any action between it and Gutierrez when approached by Autosport on Friday.

Gutierrez has had to step back out of the Coyne IndyCar team for this Saturday's Texas race as he needs more time to prepare for his oval debut.

He has to take an oval rookie test and this is not possible this week as IndyCar is in a testing blackout period.

The series' next oval round is not until the Iowa Speedway event in July.

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