FIA Formula E

Vergne, Piquet at odds over Monaco Formula E clash

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Jean-Eric Vergne and Nelson Piquet Jr. were at odds over their clash during last Saturday’s Formula E race in Monaco, laying blame with one another.

Vergne attempted to pass Piquet for third place around the outside of the Turn 3 hairpin – formed around the Nouvelle Chicane – before being squeezed into the wall.

The incident eliminated Vergne from the race and sparked a safety car period. Piquet was able to continue, having lost just one place, and eventually finished the race fourth.

“I passed him. He used me twice to turn his car, bumped into my car twice, not only one lap, the lap before also when I tried,” Vergne explained to NBC Sports.

“Then when I was alongside him on exit, he just didn’t leave me any room. I had the wall coming straight toward me. I was on the brakes, trying to turn. I think for me the onboard camera could see the steering wheel was on the left, going against me.

“He had plenty of room on the right and I ended up in the wall soon so… You can make your own conclusions about that.”

Vergne added that he would have been “amazed” if the stewards did not give Piquet a penalty, only for the incident to be passed over in their post-race meeting.

“He was very aggressive, trying to pass me on the outside. It’s a very tight corner over there, especially the exit, it closes in,” Piquet said.

“Once I went on power and we touched because he was really close to me, our cars got stuck with each other. I wasn’t going to back off and the track just closes into us and that was it.

“I think he could have waited a bit more because he had three per cent more energy. He would have passed me anyone on a pit stop. He was going to go one or two laps even longer than me. It would have been really easy for him.

“I just don’t understand why he was so desperate to get around me. I was closing the door, I wasn’t going to let him by. It would have been safer, especially on a track like this, just to save more energy, go one or two laps longer.

“It’s a shame that it happened with him. He’s a good guy, a friend of mine. We have laughs. Racing incidents, sometimes you don’t choose who they are with, they just happen.”

Vergne’s most pressing worry post-race was the injury sustained to his right hand in the incident, but the Frenchman will be fit to race in this weekend’s Paris ePrix.

Keating stripped of Le Mans GTE-Am win; No. 68 Ganassi entry also disqualified

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FIA stewards announced Monday that two Ford GT entries have been disqualified from this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, including the GTE-Am class-winning No. 85 entry from privateer Keating Motorsports.

Also DQ’d was the factory No. 68 Chip Ganassi Racing entry of Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and Sebastien Bourdais, which initially finished fourth in the GTE-Pro class.

Both entries were found in violation of fuel capacity regulations, with the No. 85 entry also failing to meet the minimum refueling time during pit stops.

The refueling system on the No. 85 entry, driven by Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Felipe Fraga, measured a time of 44.4 seconds during a stop, just shy of the minimum required time of 45 seconds.

As a result, the team was initially issued a 55.2-second post-race penalty by officials, which elevated the No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR of Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Lindsey, and Egidio Perfetti to the class win.

The time penalty was calculated by the difference in the refueling time (0.6 seconds) multiplied by the amount of pit stops made by the team (23), then multiplied by four.

The No. 85 entry was set to finish second in class, but then received an outright DQ after its fuel capacity was also revealed to be 0.1 liters above the maximum permitted capacity of 96 liters.

As for Ganassi’s No. 68 entry, it was found to have a fuel capacity of 97.83 liters, which is above the maximum allowed capacity of 97 liters for the GTE-Pro Fords.

The No. 67 Ford of Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, and Jonathan Bomarito subsequently moves up to fourth, and the No. 69 Ford of Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook moves up to fifth.

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