I’m not sure if Formula E is deliberately trying to put this feature out of business but after what felt like quite a chaotic race yesterday, only seven decisions actually went to the stewards. Still, here we are making sense of it all.
Money, money, money
The FIA bank account continued to receive a healthy income from Formula E’s teams and drivers, starting with eventual race winner Max Guenther beginning the day with a €1000 bill for an unsafe release in the pit lane. That can mean a few things but in this case was that a part was loose on the car when it exited the garage – probably one of the blower fans Formula E teams use to try and cool everything before drivers go out and which have a tendency to get left hooked in front wings.
Smash and grab (a penalty)
The racing on Tempelhof’s reverse layout had been relatively clean but fear not, fans of nonsensically flying carbonfibre. Formula E’s switch to the traditional track seemed to send everyone a bit overexcited and incidents – followed by penalties – began to literally strew themselves all over the concrete.
Felipe Massa was the first driver to fall foul of it, after what seemed like a relatively benign clash with Di Grassi. Drivers, especially Jean-Eric Vergne, had been questioning a lack of steward interest in contact between cars during the first two races, which got brought up in the driver briefing yesterday for clarification.
They got told there’d be more robust penalties and Massa got one, earning himself a drive-through penalty for the turn one incident with Lucas, although both continued in the race. Unlike Berlin rookie Sergio Sette Camara and the bad-luck-magnetic James Calado and Neel Jani.
Sette Camara made a move on Alex Sims into the hairpin, outbraked himself and ploughed into the back of Calado, making them both stop on track (Calado reversed) and sending Jani out of the race as he was unable to avoid them.
Sette Camara took full responsibility in the post-race press conference and the stewards agrees, awarding him a three-place grid drop for today’s race 4, as he couldn’t be penalised during a race he was out of.
The other two penalties handed out for mischief both went to Nyck de Vries. One was only a reprimand for being ‘unnecessarily rough’ with Alex Sims but he also got a drive-through for contact with Rene Rast, which took the Audi driver out of the race.
Formula E races again today, at 7pm CEST.