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Dragon Dampers Investigated; Zurich Result Provisional

The dampers of Jerome d’Ambrosio’s Dragon car have been sealed by the FIA…

Photo: Formula E

The final result of Sunday’s Zurich E-Prix is yet to be officially declared after Dragon Racing had dampers confiscated for technical checks by the FIA.

The American team finished in third position with its entry for Jerome d’Ambrosio in Zurich scoring its first podium result since the first race at the Battersea Park finale in London in July 2016.

The team was chosen at random to hand over the dampers it used in Switzerland which were then transported to the FIA headquarters in Geneva.

An FIA bulletin stated that a front and rear damper from one of d’Ambrosio’s Dragon-entered cars had been sealed for analysis so that it could be “checked in detail, and to do further investigations, that the dampers are in compliance with the Technical Regulations.”

E-racing365 understands that the random checks are procedural and routine and mirror similar evaluations that were carried out on the Techeetah cars after the previous E-Prix in Berlin last month.

Dragon uses Ohlins-supplied dampers and a representative from the company has to be present to access the taking apart of the product with FIA technical staff.

Dampers are one of the few areas where technical advancements can be made as they are not subject to the strict homologation procedure and are free for development.

Paddock rumours circulated in Season One that one team used some form of advanced inerter with its damper package but was not checked and the accusations were never substantiated.

Inerters, also known as ‘J dampers’, absorb excess energy from tires and suspension to enhance the predictability and stability of the contact patch to the track.

The so-called Mass damper is also forbidden in Formula E as are hydraulic connections to the dampers body.

The viscosity of the fluid within the dampers also cannot be modified externally, while changing the adjustment of the springs, the shock absorbers and the anti-roll bars from inside the cockpit is forbidden.

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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