After just a modest 11 stewards decisions and barely-altered results from the checkered flag to final classification, Formula E’s second race at Tempelhof was remarkably restrained on the penalty front. Even so, here’s what they all meant…
Everything is Fine(d)
As with yesterday, speeding is still bad and a pit lane infraction during FP1 earned Jerome D’Ambrosio the first stewards’ admin of the day and €1100 to the FIA kitty, while Antonio Felix da Costa and Alex Lynn got off for a mere €900 each for the same. Speeding is fined according to how far over the limit you are, so that just means D’Ambrosio was going faster than Da Costa and Lynn in the newly-35kph limited pit lane.
Da Costa then further improved gala bar funds by speeding in the pit lane again in free practice 2, getting him an additional €1400 IOU for being 14kph above the limit.
A bigger hit was €2500 collected from NIO 333 for releasing Daniel Abt’s car into the path of traffic but the biggest donor of the day was Nyck de Vries, who leapt out of his stricken Mercedes when it stopped on track, to try and move the car to the marshalling point, netting him a €5000 summons. Exiting the car without permission from the Race Director isn’t allowed in Formula E due to some misbehaviour in early seasons that saw both Jean-Eric Vergne and Lucas di Grassi dice with getting themselves run over, so although what De Vries did was safe and actually helpful to getting the track clear, he unfortunately can’t do much about that other than remember it for the future.
He also got a 5 grid-place penalty for the same incident, this time for pushing his car on-track. Most motorsport doesn’t ban either getting out or removing your vehicle, so this is just a rookie lack of knowledge from De Vries and not really blame-worthy after such a long break during his first season.
Battery infringements got both James Calado and Jerome D’Ambrosio in trouble. The former for Jaguar having installed the battery management software incorrectly (presumably while changing it the previous day) – the actual charge always sounds quite weird:
The level of charge power available is progessively increased as the pack discharges from 100% SoC
What that actually means is just that the way the battery should be reading its own charge isn’t right, so what it is calling 100% is above the 52kWh of energy that should be available for a race.
Calado received a drive-through penalty for the error, during what’s turning out to be a really terrible week so far for both him and Jaguar. Maybe a worse one, however, for Jerome D’Ambrosio was crossing the line having used more than 52kWh of power, netting him total disqualification from the race – although having made it there in fifteenth place, it doesn’t have an effect on the standings.
When we collide
Formula E have been remarkably well-behaved so far, in Tempelhof, with very little on-track argy-bargy, let alone the spray of front wing carbon fibre that turn one sometimes becomes.
However, Max Guenther did hit Sam Bird and get a five-second penalty for it, possibly somewhat undoing the reformed reputation he’d been earning this season at BMW after being accused of being quite crash-happy during his rookie year at Dragon.
Formula E spins the penalty tombola again tomorrow, in the third of the Tempelhof rounds.