Drivers stripped of points finishes in Monaco

Antonio Felix da Costa and Daniel Abt have lost their points-paying finishes in ABB FIA Formula E race in Monaco following post-race investigations.

Drivers stripped of points finishes in Monaco

Da Costa has been disqualified for running in too high a power mode in the closing stages, while Abt has been handed a 33-second penalty in lieu of a drive-through penalty for contact with NIO driver Oliver Turvey. The decisions mean da Costa has lost his sixth-place finish for BMW Andretti, while Abt has dropped from eighth to 15th in the final standings.

Da Costa explained that the reason he was in the higher power mode was because he accidentally hit a button on his steering wheel following contact with Jaguar’s Mitch Evans on the penultimate lap.

In footage seen by Motorsport.com, but was not broadcast by the world feed during the race, the incident occurs seconds after Evans also appears to hit Envision Virgin Racing driver Sam Bird and apparently causes the puncture that dropped Bird down from sixth place on the final lap of the race.

“I was going round the corner and Evans braked super late, hit me, forced me off the track and – when he hit me – I lost the steering wheel and hit the power rotary and went to the 225 mode,” da Costa told Motorsport.com before the penalties were announced. “I had it for a full lap, until the guys saw it and I went back to the 200kW mode. I didn’t gain anything, but I got hit, lost the position and will get a penalty for that.

“What I told the stewards is: ‘Look, we’ve had drivers that make mistakes, take people out of the race and they get three-place grid penalties, five-place grid penalties; please just consider this against worse cases’.”

Abt told Motorsport.com that “it was a weird incident [with Turvey] actually. The full course yellow came out, Turvey was in front of me. There was five seconds to slow down and reach the 50kph and he just didn’t take that much and he fully braked in the first moment, which I wasn’t expecting, because you basically give away three seconds [doing that], which is a lot of time. 

“So yeah, he braked and because I was so close I had to react and I braked as hard as I could but still hit him in the back. By hitting him, I think he got a puncture.”

Turvey retired as a result of the collision with Abt.

When asked about his race by Motorsport.com, Evans said: “It was mayhem, to be honest. A lot of carnage. Some [drivers] were more aggressive than others, some dropped out because they were too hard on energy. 

“Some experienced guys I was not expecting [it to be] like that. I was in the mix of it, got caught out and benefitted from some others. We came home with a nice result.”

Bird told Motorsport.com that “Mitch hasn’t meant to [give me a puncture]. Contact happens in these cars and that’s just how it is. But with the rear wheels being open this year, and with contact inevitable in this series, if somebody has got a sharp bit of front wing, and you lean on someone’s rear wheel – even if you don’t mean too – you will give them a puncture. 

“That’s exactly what’s happened to me with a lap and half to go and it’s ruined the race.”

Robin Frijns has been given a five-place grid penalty for his clash with Sims at St Devote late in the race. They clashed at the right-hander, with Frijns retiring on the spot, while Sims was able to drive away and eventually finished 13th following Abt’s penalty.

Frijns’s penalty will be applied at the next FE race in Berlin.

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