Formula E: Controversy at the end in Berlin


Lucas di Grassi crossed the line first but a series of technical infractions cost him the win after the race in Formula E’s trip to Berlin…


Race winner Lucas di Grassi has been excluded from the DHL Berlin ePrix after his Audi Sport ABT car was found to have been running with a modified front wing.

The race-winning car failed post-race scrutineering where it was discovered that the front wing fairings had been modified to include internal metal reinforcing rods. In addition the stewards found that six of the eight holes in the front wing had been sealed. The remaining two holes were found to have had helicoil inserts and chamfers made and that the front flap and gurney LH 220 has a filler layer added and chamfer made.

The team argued that these changes were made as a result of repairs and that they offered no competitive advantage, however, they were deemed to be in breach of Article 3.1 of 2014/2015 FIA Formula E Technical Regulations and the exclusion was made.

Audi Sport ABT has decided not to appeal the decision.

The decision means that Jerome D’Ambrosio is now the winner of the race and Nelson Piquet Jr is now in the lead of the championship, 10 points ahead of di Grassi.

It’s been a long time coming, but Lucas di Grassi’s second Formula E win was delivered in consummate style.

In contrast to his Beijing ePrix win where he led for just the final few hundred metres, in the DHL Berlin ePrix it took him just a few hundred metres to take a lead that – pitstop period aside – he dominated from the front.

Di Grassi took full advantage of a mistake by poleman Jarno Trulli to slide his Audi Sport ABT entry into the lead through Turn 3 of the opening lap. By the end of that tour he led by almost two seconds, by the end of lap two it was 4.5s!

With Trulli’s car consuming energy at an alarming rate, the Italian was forced to adjust his pace accordingly. This resulted in the rest of the field queuing up behind him. Sebastien Buemi led the charge, finally using his FanBoost – the first time the e.dams-Renault driver had won the vote – to take second place.