Lynn wins as Di Grassi is disqualified in second London EPrix race

Formula E

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Alex Lynn completed a British double-win in the second of two Formula E races in London this weekend, scoring his first victory in the category.

He followed Jake Dennis’ Saturday triumph on the new course around the ExCel Arena in the British capital.

Sam Bird came into the weekend leading the standings but endured a difficult home race weekend. He had to qualify in group one, started near the back in the first race where he suffered damage and dropped out.

Following the opening lap bumping, Saturday’s race was relatively pedestrian. Lynn had won pole position but lost out to Dennis during his first Attack Mode activation and the Mahindra car’s efficiency left him prey to Nyck de Vries on race pace.

Lynn reached the Super Pole shoot-out in qualifying for the second race but wasn’t able to repeat his pole position. Stoffel Vandoorne started Sunday’s race at the front with Oliver Rowland alongside him. Lynn lined up third, De Vries fourth.

Vandoorne got away ahead and was able to pull out a small lead while Rowland and De Vries battled behind him. Lynn slipped backwards, the Mahindra not seemingly able to battle the other frontrunners on pace.

Just five minutes into the race, De Vries told the Mercedes pit wall his steering was damaged, although he was able to continue. Shortly afterwards the race was neutralised when Sebastien Buemi and René Rast clashed at turn 10, debris falling off Rast’s car all over the track. Racing restarted with 33 minutes to go, and drivers given a 3kWh energy reduction.

Buemi was issued a 10-second stop-go penalty for the collision, although he had effectively retired from the race by that point. Just 10 minutes later racing was once more interrupted by a Safety Car, this due to Andre Lotterer crushing Antonio Felix da Costa’s car into the wall at the end of the start/finish straight.

During the latest interruption, Lucas di Grassi made an audacious bid to take the lead of the race. The Audi driver pitted from eighth in the queue, briefly stopped at his pit box and emerged in front of his rivals, by virtue of the London course’s short pit lane and the fact drivers had to follow particularly slowly behind the Safety Car past Da Costa’s car in the run-off area.

Di Grassi was placed under investigation for the move, keeping the race lead at the restart with Vandoorne and Rowland behind him. But a turn 10 tangle between the pair put Vandoorne out of the race and relegated Rowland to the back. Günther and Evans clashed at the next corner, avoiding Vandoorne and Rowland, promoting Lynn to challenge De Vries for second place.

The top three pulled out substantial leads while Evans held back the back, battling with Günther and exchanging fourth place several times. De Vries’ car trouble meant he wasn’t able to keep pace with Lynn and Di Grassi ahead.

As the race entered its final quarter-hour, Di Grassi was issued a drive-through penalty for his pit lane stunt. However his Audi team kept him on-track and as a consequence, he was shown a black flag on the final lap. Lynn therefore took the win ahead of De Vries, while Evans survived the fight behind, despite having missed Attack Mode on his first attempt at activation.

De Vries assumes the title lead, going into the final two rounds of Formula E’s first world championship season, in Berlin next month. Bird was awarded a three-place grid penalty for the first Berlin race after the collision he had with Norman Nato.

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Race result

Race One

1Jake DennisBMWi Andretti
2Nyck de VriesMercedes
3Alex LynnMahindra
4André LottererPorsche
5René RastAudi
6Lucas di GrassiAudi
7Stoffel VandoorneMercedes
8Antonio Felix da CostaDS Techeetah
9Edoardo MortaraVenturi
10Pascal WehrleinPorsche
11Nick CassidyVirgin
12Jean-Eric VergneDS Techeetah
13Robin FrijnsVirgin
14Mitch EvansJaguar
15Oliver TurveyNIO 333
16Joel ErikssonDragon Penske
17Sergio Sette CamaraDragon Penske
18Max GüntherBMWi Andretti
DNFNorman NatoVenturi
DNFTom BlomqvistNIO 333
DNFSam BirdJaguar
DNFAlexander SimsMahindra
DSQOliver RowlandNissan e.Dams
DSQSebastien BuemiNissan e.Dams

Race Two

1Alex LynnBMWi Andretti
2Nyck de VriesMercedes
3Mitch EvansMahindra
4Robin FrijnsPorsche
5Pascal WehrleinAudi
6Max GüntherBMWi Andretti
7Nick CassidyVirgin
8Lucas di GrassiAudi
9Sergio Sette CamaraDragon Penske
10Jake DennisBMWi Andretti
11Joel ErikssonDragon Penske
12Stoffel VandoorneMercedes
13Edoardo MortaraVenturi
14Jean-Eric VergneDS Techeetah
15Sebastien BuemiNissan e.Dams
16Oliver TurveyNIO 333
17Alexander SimsMahindra
18André LottererPorsche
DNFOliver RowlandNissan e.Dams
DNFTom BlomqvistNIO 333
DNFSam BirdJaguar
DNFNorman NatoVenturi
DSQAntonio Felix da CostaDS Techeetah
DSQRené RastAudi

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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20 comments on “Lynn wins as Di Grassi is disqualified in second London EPrix race”

  1. Is there anything specifically in the regulations or event notes stating a driver can’t do what Di Grassi did?

    If not then it seems a little unfair to penalise/disqualify him as he’s technically done nothing wrong.

    1. Passing under a caution is against the rules and I assume the driver also passed the pace car which would be against the rules.

    2. @roger-ayles That’s the bit I didn’t get either.

    3. Pit stops are allowed under safety car and probably no one envisaged this scenario in Formula E as there are no pit stops conducted for tyre changes or recharging. As McNish mentioned, going through the pitlane is supposed to take more time but the shorter length of the pits and slower safety car for this round meant going through the pit lane was much faster.

      The only wording in the rules it seems is that cars must come to a stop in the pit box for it to be considered a pit stop and Di Grassi would have gotten away with it but for the fact that he was deemed to have not come to a stop. Probably, the pit lane will be closed henceforth during a SC.

      However, the issues coming up through the season indicate that the series still lacks professionalism. Some of the car-banging today was purely atrocious. The fact that Di Grassi was allowed to run at the front and influence the race was even more unbelievable.

      1. I agree, he should have been allowed to keep the place. Not that he could claim he’d deservedly won the race in a fair and sporting manner, but if the rules don’t prohibit such easily predictable behaviour then that’s a matter for Formula E and the teams to sort out. I’m sure there was a comment by the Sky commentators about this exact scenario happened at the British GP a while back, where someone going into the pit lane “for repairs” could actual come out ahead of where they were in the queue behind the Safety Car. The main problem I see is how is it someone comes out of the Pit Lane and is allowed to be First? Logic is the pit lane exit should be temporarily closed under a Safety Car except for short periods just after the cars have gone passed, so if someone goes to the Pits for a repair or whatever (or even to just do a momentary Stop and Go) they can’t just race out and be First (or even in the place they had previously held), rather they should have to wait for all the cars behind the Safety Car to go passed and then the Pit Lane Exit opens for a few seconds so they rejoin the race behind the last car in the queue (it may be the last car in the queue is actually a lap behind the car coming out of the pits). I don’t think that problem is specific to Formula E, I have been left wondering about the situation in F1 too.

        1. I think Schumacher got away with winning a race from the pits by taking his 10 second penalty after the finish line, as his garage was past the finish line.
          Formula E dodged a bullet here because di Grassi locked up and didn’t properly stop the car, but I think ‘overtaking under a safety car’ applies here too.

    4. There wasn’t – he would have been legitimately within his rights, if he had actually come to a full stop at the pit box. He didn’t – the wheels locked but he was still in motion, on the slippery floor, so it was not allowable.

    5. yes, @roger-ayles. You are not allowed to do a “pitstop” without actually coming to a full stop. Which is what DiGrassi did not do (the sensors clearly showed that his rear wheels were never completely at 0 speed.) – they should have waited for a fraction of a second longer in that “stop” for it to work @david-br, as @jimfromus mentions, now it was just taking an alternative way to pass cars under caution, which you are not to allowed to do.

      1. @bascb thanks, so a bodged cheat!

        1. Indeed @david-br! Although I must say that I would have loved seeing them pull something like this off (this loophole will now surely be closed just like the one that was closed off earlier)

  2. pastaman (@)
    25th July 2021, 17:38

    What’s a British double?

    1. @pastaman Something to do with breakfast perhaps?

      1. Maybe 😉

        Poor show when your opening paragraph has two typos within the first seven words, FHS

    2. It is when two Britons cross the line and get lauded for doing so.

  3. It is when two Britons cross the line and get lauded for doing so.

    1. The perennial Edit rage applies here.

  4. Wow. That was absolutely legendary from Lucas Di Grassi and Audi. They pull off all the best wins in Formula e (Mexico City season 3), and then doing this is even better. I remember in Berlin last year Buemi and the Mahindras got away with doing this under FCY and then the loophole was closed, but I suppose it was not closed at that time for safety cars. Maybe Audi had known all this time but, knowing they will only be allowed to use it once, they saved it for the most effective time. I can imagine that the stewards were desperately trying to find a reason to disallow the victory because it would have made a mockery out of Formula e if they had pulled it off, but I still wish Di Grassi had indeed stopped properly so that he could have won that race. I half expect Audi to be banned from the Berlin races, but if they are, they can at least leave on a high with what was almost the Brabham fan car of Formula e tactics. Fantastic!

  5. Broccoliface
    25th July 2021, 20:53

    On Motorsport Manager you could do a similar thing on their analogue of the Abu Dhabi track. The exit fed into the 2nd corner and under a safety car it was the quicker strat to pit.

  6. I know Formula E cars are more robust than in other open wheel series but I’ve never seen such poor driving standards as I have in this weekends Formula E races. Drivers deliberately bashing into other drivers, veering competitors into walls etc. Although in Formula E it’s like this every week! I suppose it makes for entertaining races… but I want to watch top class motorsport, and the driving standards of Formula E are extremely amateurish .

    1. Totally agree, it’s a total joke of professional racing. It’s not even watchable if you want to see real racing like you see on other racing on TV. I’m guessing this is more for entertainment value of some kind that is not intended for racing fans and more of a spectacle type of entertainment.
      Even NASCAR does across as supremely cleaner less contact racing which is a very tough thing to do.

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