Sauber rue “weekend to forget” after double retirement

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Sauber branded the Canadian Grand Prix a “weekend to forget” after both their drivers failed to take the checkered flag.

Nico Hulkenberg collided with Caterham’s Giedo van der Garde while lapping him and both sustained race-ending damage.

And although Esteban Gutierrez was among the classified finishers he crashed while exiting the pit lane seven laps from home. He had been trying to complete the race with a single pit stop but found the tire degradation was too severe and had to make a late pit stop.

Head of track engineering Tom McCullough said the team had expected a difficult weekend: “The circuit’s characteristics were going to make it a hard day for our car.”

“Ultimately it was a double DNF, which is very disappointing. On the strategy side we attempted a one stop with Esteban and a two stop with Nico, which was the base strategy today.

“But ultimately the tire degradation and wear were too high for Esteban, so we had to convert to a two stopper late in the race and unfortunately he had the incident exiting the pits.”

Van der Garde was ruled to be at fault in the collision with Hulkenberg, the stewards noting he had taken a lap to let the Sauber driver pass him. “Lapping can be troublesome, but these guys are racing too and have things happenings in the race, the same as us,” said Hulkenberg.

“I lapped Giedo van der Garde and braked. At first I didn’t feel anything until I came out of the corner and realized the car wasn’t going straight, so we decided to stop.”

New Formula E champ, teammate fined for ‘underwear violation’

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During this past weekend’s pair of season-ending races in New York, newly-crowned Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne and Techeetah teammate Andre Lotterer were fined nearly $6,000 apiece for, well, there’s no easier way to say it than, “underwear violations.”

According to Jalopnik.com, the two drivers were fined for “wearing non-compliant” underwear during qualifying for Sunday’s second and final race of the weekend.

In addition to cash, the duo also lost two penalty points each for violating Article 30.14 of the Formula E 2017/2018 regulations.

In case you’re wondering, the violation has nothing to do with not wearing the right sponsor’s brand of jockeys or boxers.

Rather, Formula E ruled the underwear the drivers wore was a “safety issue” and that the drivers were penalized for wearing “non-compliant” underwear.

Drivers are required to wear fire- and flame-resistant outer- and under-garments while behind the wheel to help minimize the risk of being burned in the event of a crash and resulting fire.

Here’s how Formula E characterized the violation in a statement about Vergne’s penalty

“After checking the clothes, helmet and front head restraint of the driver, it was found that he was wearing non-compliant underwear pants which are not allowed by the [FIA’s] international sporting code. The driver apologized. The stewards consider that in this case the infringement occurred during group qualifying with limited cars on circuit for a short period of time.”

It’s not the first time Formula E drivers have been penalized for having on the wrong kind of drawers.

Former F-E champ Lucas di Grassi was penalized three points and nearly $10,000 in March for fire-resistant underwear that FIA officials called “too short.”

Gee, who knew that pre-qualifying “inspection” could be so personal?

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