Piquet hits out at lenient di Grassi penalty

Formula E season one champion Nelson Piquet Jr. voiced his frustration at inconsistent penalties in the series after Lucas di Grassi kept his Buenos Aires podium despite an unsafe release violation.

Piquet hits out at lenient di Grassi penalty
Nelson Piquet Jr., NEXTEV TCR Formula E Team
Lucas di Grassi, ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport
Nelson Piquet Jr., NEXTEV TCR Formula E Team
Lucas di Grassi, ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport
Lucas di Grassi, ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport
Nelson Piquet Jr., NEXTEV TCR Formula E Team
Nelson Piquet Jr., NEXTEV TCR Formula E Team
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During the mid-race car swaps di Grassi’s Abt Audi Sport team released him just ahead of Piquet, who had been right behind his fellow Brazilian when they entered the pits.

The stewards investigated the incident after the race and reported that Piquet had been forced to brake because of di Grassi’s release. Di Grassi was subsequently given a formal reprimand and a €1500 fine.

In the past, unsafe releases have been punished by drive-throughs or time penalties, but stewards reserve the right to interpret each incident differently.

Piquet thinks it is unfair for there to be different punishments for the same offence.

“They don’t have any consistency with what they are doing,” he told Motorsport.com.

“They say every case is its own, but that’s not the case – whatever the situation, unsafe release is an unsafe release.

“It is really frustrating – I wish it was more black and white instead of 90% grey, a little black, a little white. I don’t know how they can resolve this but they should, they have enough people, enough cameras and GPS in all the cars.”

By keeping the 15 points he scored for third place, plus three for qualifying on pole, di Grassi remains second in the drivers’ championship, 29 points behind Buenos Aires race winner Sebastien Buemi.

Yellow flag confusion

Piquet, who went on to finish the Buenos Aires race in fifth, had been investigated during qualifying for setting his best time in the group phase while a yellow flag was temporarily on track.

He escaped punishment, but said the incident itself went against what the drivers had been told before the event.

“They told us in qualifying there would green or red flags – no yellow,” Piquet said. "I saw the yellow, I backed off and got round the corner and saw there was nothing.

“It compromised my qualifying lap and I still got called into the stewards for not backing off enough for a yellow flag that wasn’t supposed to be there.

“It’s unbelievable these things we hear and have to go through.”

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