Techeetah's New York FE race one protest against di Grassi rejected

A protest lodged by DS Techeetah against the driving standards of Audi's Lucas di Grassi in the opening New York ABB FIA Formula E race was rejected by the stewards

Techeetah's New York FE race one protest against di Grassi rejected

The protest concerned an incident from lap two of the 36-lap race that chiefly involved Andre Lotterer, di Grassi and Jean-Eric Vergne.

The sporting rule cited in Techeetah's protest - Article 30.12 - states: "At no time may a car be driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically or in a manner which could be deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers or any other person.

"This will apply whether any such car is being driven on the track, the pit entry or the pitlane."

In the aftermath of Sam Bird spinning Jose Maria Lopez at the Turn 6 90-degree left, the track was briefly blocked, with all cars running lower than sixth caught up in the aftermath.

Vergne hit the back of Gary Paffett, while Lotterer went into the back of Vergne and di Grassi struck the rear of Lotterer's car.

All the cars were able to escape the incident, but the two DS Techeetah drivers had to pit for repairs - Vergne with a left-rear puncture and nose damage, and Lotterer with heavy front-end damage.

After the race, DS Techeetah launched a protest, claiming di Grassi had breached Article 30.12 and alleging he had "continuously pushed car 36, Lotterer, until he spun around".

But the stewards rejected DS Techeetah's protest, saying Bird had already been punished for causing the original track blockage by spinning Lopez and that the contact between Vergne, Lotterer and di Grassi was a result of that.

An FIA bulletin said "no breach by any of the drivers [following Bird and Lopez] was evident and that these collisions were an unavoidable consequence of the contact between cars 2 [Bird] and 7 [Lopez]".

The bulletin continued, stating DS Techeetah "called evidence from the driver of car #36 [Lotterer] who said that he came upon the accident scene, braked heavily and was hit from behind and his car was turned left into the wall".

It added: "He said that despite his brakes being locked, the rear of his car was lifted by the contact from behind and his car was continually pushed by car #11 [di Grassi].

"Car #11 managed to get past and continued the race.

"The respondent [Audi/di Grassi] denied the breach and the driver of car #11 gave evidence that when he arrived at the incident, he braked heavily and was hit from behind.

"He denied having pushed car #36 deliberately.

"The stewards and the parties reviewed the available broadcast and CCTV footage of the incident and brake and throttle data from both cars.

"That evidence was inconclusive and did not cause the stewards to depart from their original judgment made during the race that the collisions behind cars #2 [Bird] and #7 [Lopez] were an unavoidable consequence.

"The broadcast footage revealed that car #36 [Lotterer] had unavoidable contact with the rear of car 25 [Vergne] before any contact from car #11 [di Grassi].

"Car #36's contact with the rear of car #25 appeared to cause car #11 to turn left and the subsequent contact from car #11 meant that car #36 continued to turn in that direction.

"The breach of the rules alleged against the driver of car #11 was not established on the evidence."

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