Jean-Eric Vergne was left frustrated after a timing mix-up by his Techeetah Formula E team cost him a shot at pole position in qualifying for the Marrakesh ePrix on Saturday.
Vergne carried an impressive pace through practice before topping the group stage of qualifying, securing himself the final run slot in Super Pole.
However, the Techeetah team released the Frenchman from his pit box too late, meaning he was not allowed to exit the pit lane and take to the track to compelte a qualifying lap.
As a result, Vergne will start fifth in Marrakesh, with Mahindra’s Felix Rosenqvist securing pole.
Techeetah informed NBC Sports that a “procedural error” caused the mix-up, with Vergne making his frustration clear after the session.
“I said: ‘Are you sure I don’t need to go?’ with one minute to go, and they said ‘No, no, you have to wait’,” Vergne explained.
“I thought they know what they are doing. There are a lot of engineers and people who know the rules behind the garage. And apparently it was wrong.
“Unless they changed the rule overnight, which I don’t think they did, there’s been a huge mistake.”
Vergne and Techeetah impressed throughout pre-season testing, with their package showing pace comparable to that of the pace-setting Renault e.dams squad, giving the ex-Toro Rosso Formula 1 racer lots of hope heading into the race.
“We have an amazing car this weekend,” Vergne said.
“I think it’s a shame I just lost three points, but I can definitely win the race starting fifth.
“It’s not the end of the world.”
Vergne will gain a place on the grid following a technical infringement for Sebastien Buemi, causing the Swiss racer to fall from second to seventh.