Berlin E-Prix: Guenther disqualified after energy limit breach – Formula E
BMW Andretti’s Maximilian Guenther has been disqualified from the Berlin E-Prix having exceeded the amount of allowable useable energy in his Formula E car.
Guenther, who ended a manic race at the Tempelhof Airport in eighth position, had been in the wars at several points during the 36-lap opener in a series of six races in Berlin.
Having been investigated early on for a suspected collision between himself and Envision Virgin Racing’s Robin Frijns, which put the Dutch driver out of the race, Guenther also found himself under the stewards’ magnifying glass for contact with Jaguar’s Mitch Evans.
But the collision was later blamed on Edoardo Mortara, who had been found to push Guenther, and so received an 18s penalty.
Evans, having been fighting among the points, was punted into a spin by Guenther and fell down the order to finish 15th.
Many of the drivers in the race, having to extend their management by a lap more than perhaps expected, found themselves perilously close to the limit on useable energy, which had been cut to 45kWh as a result of a safety car and a full-course yellow period.
Guenther was adjudged to have exceeded that limit, a breach of Article 7.6 of the technical regulations, and was hence expelled from the final classification of the race.
The German’s disqualification now elevates Audi’s Lucas di Grassi into eighth and BMW team-mate Alexander Sims into ninth.
Guenther will now drop to fifth in the standings as a result, having now fallen behind Sims and Stoffel Vandoorne, on 44 points.
Meanwhile, new Audi recruit Rene Rast is now classified in 10th place, giving the two-time DTM champion his first point in Formula E.
Two drivers were also awarded penalties before the start of the race – Oliver Rowland and James Calado – in the form of grid drops, but both had them partially converted into time penalties having been unable to fulfil the whole penalty.
Rowland had the inverter and gearbox changed onboard his Nissan e.dams car and received a 40-place grid drop, which became a pitlane start and a 10-second stop-go penalty during the race.
The British driver recovered to 16th, which now becomes 14th after Guenther’s disqualification and Mortara’s reprimand.
Jaguar’s Calado had to take an entirely new powertrain, taking a new motor unit, battery and inverter for a 60-place penalty.
He also received a 10-second stop-go penalty having been unable to take the full grid-drop, and finished behind Rowland in the race.