ABT apologizes to di Grassi after DSQ for underweight car

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The ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport team has apologized to driver Lucas di Grassi after he was disqualified from yesterday’s Mexico Ciity ePrix for having an underweight car.

Di Grassi kept his cool in a manic race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez to cross the line and claim what was set to be his third Formula E victory, putting him back into the lead of the drivers’ championship.

However, a post-race check by the scrutineers found that his car was 1.8 kg under the 888 kg minimum weight, putting it in breach of the regulations.

The stewards swiftly disqualified him from the race, handing victory to Dragon Racing’s Jerome d’Ambrosio in a flurry of déjà vu from the Berlin ePrix almost a year ago.

The team had no explanation for why the car was underweight but decided not to appeal the decision, only issuing an apology to di Grassi.

“The car was weighed several times here in Mexico and exceeded the minimum weight every time. Because our team had not made any changes, we have no explanation for the measurement after the race,” team boss Hans-Jurgen Abt said.

“We will try to find out the reason for not making the minimum weight. At this moment we can only apologize to Lucas. He drove a great race and won convincingly by more than five seconds, but was robbed of his just reward.

“We will do everything possible to make amends for this mistake and get Lucas back into the thick of the title fight.”

Di Grassi’s qualification allowed Sebastien Buemi to extend his championship lead to 22 points despite only finishing third on track, having been embroiled in a battle with d’Ambrosio for much of the race.

The next Formula E race takes place in Long Beach, California on April 2.