Formula E

Mass Monaco grid penalties handed down after Paris crashfest

Mass Monaco grid penalties handed down after Paris crashfest
Co-author: Alex Kalinauckas
Apr 27, 2019, 9:13 PM

Erstwhile ABB FIA Formula E points leader Jerome d'Ambrosio, Edoardo Mortara and Oliver Rowland have all be given three-place grid penalties for next month’s Monaco race after causing collisions in the Paris E-Prix.

Several factors created a chaotic event in Paris, where FE had its first true wet race. It featured multiple incidents, which led to four full-course yellow activations and a safety car period.

Turn 3 – the best place for overtaking – was a particular flashpoint, but Mortara’s collision with Alex Lynn at Turn 13 caused the biggest interruption. Mortara dived to the inside of the corner as Lynn turned in and ended up with the front of his car underneath the Jaguar as they went into the barriers on the outside, with the safety car coming out to allow the wreckage to be cleared.

The Venturi driver told that he was to blame for the collision that forced both drivers into retirement.

"The move was probably a bit on the optimistic side," Mortara said. "He [Lynn] said he didn’t see me and turned in. Unfortunately, I hit the wall and it sent me into the [other] wall. It’s unfortunate but these things happen sometimes."

Lynn added: "Maybe he just made a mistake and just locked up and ran into the back of me. I think my car was already at the kerb by the time [we touched] and he just pushed me into the barrier."

D’Ambrosio’s penalty was for hitting Sam Bird at Turn 3 during a heavy period of rain, with the clash spinning the Envision Virgin Racing driver into the barriers, although he managed to continue and finished 11th.

“[Bird] locked up, I locked up, we both went a bit wide and he came back and that was it,” d’Ambrosio, who picked up a five-second time penalty early in the race for taking his first attack mode too early and crashed out at Turn 3 later on, explained to “It’s very tricky out there - it’s easy to make a mistake. I think he was a bit in front, came back and I couldn’t avoid him.”

Bird told that he was "sick of getting hit" after a three-race run in which he has been involved in collisions.

He added: "D’Ambrosio had lost control of his car and smashed into me and put me in the wall. I got a massive hit from the rear and it sent me into the wall. So that’s my feeling, obviously. I’ve spoken to Jerome and he feels otherwise. That’s about it."

Rowland, who started the race in pole position following Pascal Wehrlein's disqualification from qualifying, was penalised for colliding with Alexander Sims on the approach to Turn 3 seconds after d’Ambrosio hit Bird. Rowland, who ended up finishing 12th and had gone into the Turn 3 barriers by himself while leading early on, was attempting to overtake Stoffel Vandoorne when the clash with Sims occurred.

"I passed Stoffel on the brakes into Turn 3 and there’s no grip, you can’t see anything," said Rowland, who was speaking before he was aware of an investigation into the clash. "I just locked the inside wheel again a little bit and he was kind of on the outside and just there and I hit [him].

"It was my fault. When it gets like that and after a full course yellow – everything is freezing cold. It was my fault."

Sims, who retired from the race as a result of the collision, told that Rowland had apologised.

"I can't say too much,” he said,” I was just braking for the corner and then in the middle of the corner, I got hit pretty hard."

Additional reporting by Norman Fischer

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