Zurich E-Prix – Techeetah driver Jean-Eric Vergne was “shocked” by how long it took for a full course yellow to be called for on-track debris during the Zurich Formula E race.
Felix Rosenqvist’s front wing was stranded on the racing line out of Turn 1 after he hit the barriers, having lost control of his Mahindra as Vergne passed him for eighth.
Vergne ran over the wing two laps later while he was racing Jose Maria Lopez, shortly after which the FCY came out.
“[It was] way too late. I don’t know if they were sleeping but it’s so dangerous to have a front wing in the middle of the racing line and I didn’t see it because I had a driver in front of me and I thought they had removed it,” he said.
“I’m a little bit shocked as how slow they reacted, but they were very fast for my penalty.”
Vergne, along with four other drivers including his team-mate Andre Lotterer, was given a drive-through penalty for speeding under the FCY.
Having had to fight back through the field from 17th on the grid after a tough qualifying, Vergne recovered to sixth before an issue in his pit stop dropped him back to ninth.
He eventually finished 10th, which dropped his championship advantage to DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird to 23 points with two races remaining.
“For qualifying I can’t find an answer. I had one of the best cars I’ve ever driven in Formula E and that was my worst qualifying ever in Formula E. I don’t understand why but certainly we will find the answer, because in the race we were absolutely flying.
“I cannot understand why I got the penalty because I did everything as I always do. I could have fought for second and I was clearly faster than Sam. So he has got his lucky day today.
“I will approach New York with full attack. Today I’m obviously very angry. I could have opened up in the championship and gotten very close to it but instead I lost 17 points.
“I had the car and the speed, I have a very high motivation now and I’m not worried. 23 points is a lot and I’m still in a much better position than he is.”