NIO 333 Formula E team fined for COVID-19 rules breach

The NIO 333 Formula E team has been hit with a €25,000 fine for failing to immediately report a positive COVID-19 case ahead of the Valencia E-Prix double-header event.

NIO 333 Formula E team fined for COVID-19 rules breach

According to a bulletin from the FIA, NIO 333 did not report the positive result straight away to the COVID-19 delegate and “made no declaration about possible unfit attendees”.

Instead, the stewards concluded that initial contact with the hygiene board came “several hours” after the Li Sheng Racing-owned outfit was first made aware of the diagnosis. For this, the team has been fined €25,000, of which €5000 had to be paid by Thursday.

The remaining €20,000 is suspended for the rest of the 2021 season "upon the same infraction not being repeated".

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The offence is in breach of Articles 4.1 and 6.6 of Appendix S of the FIA International Sporting Code. Article 4.1 reads: “Any material non-compliance with the requirements of this COVID-19 Code must be reported without delay to the COVID-19 Delegate."

Article 6.6 continues: “Prior to each Part Two Event, if any circumstances arise that mean an attendee is not fit to attend the Part Two Event (e.g., he/she tests positive for the COVID-19 virus or he/she starts to suffer from any COVID-19 symptoms or he/she has any close contact with anyone suffering from COVID-19 symptoms), the attendee must not declare him/herself fit to attend.”

Oliver Turvey, NIO 333, NIO 333 001

Oliver Turvey, NIO 333, NIO 333 001

Photo by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

Formula E conducts PCR tests for all event attendees on site to avoid putting additional strain on local services.

Other high-profile positive COVID-19 cases came for championship co-founder Alejandro Agag and Mahindra Racing team principal Dilbagh Gill. They both missed the six-race Berlin finale last season - the first event held after Formula E undertook a five-month suspension in response to the coronavirus pandemic breaking out in Europe.

NIO 333 announced on Thursday morning that it has signed up to the new Gen3 rules, which commits it to Formula E until the end of the 2025-26 season.

This means that the majority of the existing squads have now registered to continue in the category when the new rules are introduced, the Mercedes outfit being one of the few yet to formally pledge to remain in the electric series moving forward.

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