Vandoorne loses Valencia Formula E pole over tyre infringement - The Race
Formula E

Vandoorne loses Valencia Formula E pole over tyre infringement

Apr 24 2021
By Sam Smith and Matt Beer

Mercedes driver Stoffel Vandoorne has lost his pole position for the Valencia Formula E World Championship race due to a tyre rules infringement.

The stewards ruled that Mercedes had breached article 3.2 of FE’s technical regulations through the “use of a tyre without appropriate identification”, saying that “the tyre mounted on the car is not corresponding with any of the ones declared in the technical passport”.

All of Vandoorne’s times from the qualifying session have been deleted, dropping him to the back of the 24-car grid.

Mercedes team principal Ian James put the issue down to an administrative error.

“Effectively the way that things work is that the serial numbers of various parts have to be put onto the technical passport,” James told The Race.

“They’re noted down, it was noted down correctly and then when it was actually put into the technical passport it seems like it was a fat finger error and there’s one digit out of hundreds which is incorrect.

“That’s obviously been identified and has caused the issue.”

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Reigning champion Antonio Felix da Costa inherits pole in his DS Techeetah, with BMW driver Maximilian Guenther joining him on the front row.

Vandoorne had taken pole despite having to qualify in the first group due to being fourth in the championship.

“First and foremost it shouldn’t take anything away from what Stoffel did in qualifying,” James added.

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“He had a great initial qualifying session in group one and then his superpole lap was stunning, really stunning.

“It’s a bitter disappointment obviously for him and for the team but we now need to regroup and see what can be salvaged and show some of that resilience that we’ve shown earlier in the season.”

Formula E teams’ usual limit of eight tyres per car for each event has been eased to 12 tyres per car for the Valencia weekend due to the increased wear rates experienced at the permanent racetrack during testing last winter.

Qualifying Results

Pos Name Team Car Group 1 Group 2
1 António Félix da Costa DS Techeetah DS E-Tense FE21 1m26.87s 1m26.522s
2 Nyck de Vries Mercedes-Benz EQ Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02 1m26.914s 1m26.73s
3 Maximilian Günther BMW i Andretti Motorsport BMW iFE.21 1m26.868s 1m26.943s
4 Alex Lynn Mahinda Racing Mahindra M7Electro 1m26.799s 1m27.022s
5 Sébastien Buemi Nissan e.DAMS Nissan IM02 1m26.876s 1m27.053s
6 André Lotterer TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Porsche 99X Electric 1m26.933s
7 Norman Nato RokIT Venturi Racing Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02 1m26.979s
8 Oliver Rowland Nissan e.DAMS Nissan IM02 1m27.002s
9 Pascal Wehrlein TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Porsche 99X Electric 1m27.008s
10 Nick Cassidy Envision Virgin Racing Audi e-tron FE07 1m27.072s
11 Alexander Sims Mahinda Racing Mahindra M7Electro 1m27.109s
12 Jean-Eric Vergne DS Techeetah DS E-Tense FE21 1m27.157s
13 Jake Dennis BMW i Andretti Motorsport BMW iFE.21 1m27.177s
14 René Rast Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler Audi e-tron FE07 1m27.29s
15 Robin Frijns Envision Virgin Racing Audi e-tron FE07 1m27.317s
16 Edoardo Mortara RokIT Venturi Racing Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02 1m27.338s
17 Mitch Evans Jaguar Racing Jaguar I-Type 5 1m27.442s
18 Sérgio Sette Câmara Dragon / Penske Autosport Penske EV-4 1m27.456s
19 Tom Blomqvist NIO 333 Formula E Team NIO 333 001 1m27.481s
20 Sam Bird Jaguar Racing Jaguar I-Type 5 1m27.619s
21 Lucas Di Grassi Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler Audi e-tron FE07 1m27.634s
22 Nico Müller Dragon / Penske Autosport Penske EV-4 1m27.644s
23 Oliver Turvey NIO 333 Formula E Team NIO 333 001 1m28.524s
24 Stoffel Vandoorne Mercedes-Benz EQ Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02

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