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Paris Post-Race Notebook

Sam Smith’s post-event notebook from Saturday’s Paris E-Prix..

Photo: Formula E

***FIA President Jean Todt told e-racing365 that the ABB FIA Formula E Championship could gain World Championship status in the future. “Of course it’s part of the possible options but it’s not a game-changer for the championship. So we will peacefully take our time and when the proper time comes, then why not.”

***Todt also talked about the Gen 2 car and the issue of it potentially outgrowing some of the smaller circuits on the Formula E calendar. “Safety is our priority,” he said. “It will remain our priority. But at the moment all the venues will be safe with the Gen 2 car. We will never compromize on that.”

***Sebastien Buemi was again left frustrated after a race which saw the potential of his Renault Z.E 17 again remain locked. “I think we went too aggressive on the setup. I was going two laps longer but in the second stint I couldn’t use the extra energy. I had too much front-end and was sliding around and oversteering,” Buemi told e-racing365.

***Andretti drivers Tom Blomqvist and Antonio Felix da Costa both retired from the E-Prix with the team electing to stop Blomqvist after a first lap melee saw both the front and rear of his car damaged. Felix da Costa stopped with an unspecified technical issue after taking a trip down an escape road on the third lap.

***The inaugural event on the island of Hainan off the coast of southern China looks set to take place on March 23, 2019. E-racing365 broke news of the race in February and it will effectively form a double-header with the third edition of the Hong Kong E-Prix which is expected to take place shortly before the Hainan race.

***Nelson Piquet Jr.’s weekend was compromized for the second consecutive time by a seatbelt problem. The Brazilian endured a disastrous race having been unable to take part in qualifying after two accidents, the most serious of which in Free Practice 1 requiring a change of monocoque for the Panasonic Jaguar Racing team.

***Piquet has been granted authorization by the stewards to use a new chassis for the rest of the season. The Brazilian described his weekend as “not a great day all round” but praised his team who “were incredible today to turn both cars around in record time.”

***Maro Engel’s best-ever finish of fourth place was slightly tainted after Venturi was fined €1,000 (c. $1214) for a pit-stop infringement. The team was deemed to have released the car in an unsafe manner causing a cable to fall on the racing circuit.

***Mahindra’s poor form continued as Felix Rosenqvist slipped to 61 points behind leader Jean-Eric Vergne after finishing a frustrated eighth. The Indian team has now scored just 20 points in the last four races and has slipped behind Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler to fourth in the teams’ standings.

***Nico Prost’s race was compromised by being hit by Tom Blomqvist’s Andretti in the opening exchanges. The contact dislodged Prost’s rear wing and caused Race Control to issue the black-and-orange flag forcing him to stop.

***The timing of the call to pit Prost, which came on lap 12, angered both driver and team. “Nicolas was hit at the start and we thought he would be able to go to the end of his first stint. Race Control finally forced him to stop – rather a late call,” said Jean-Paul Driot after the race.

***A potential future feeder series for Formula E is only something that will not be considered in the near future, according to Jean Todt. “Maybe in 20-30 years we will have the pyramid of FE,” he told e-racing365. “But it’s too early now. We have one category and we must make sure it goes well.”

***Mahindra Racing announced a partnership with Nippon Audio covering a multi-year deal. Nippon Audio has been part of Mahindra for decades and is a market leader for in-vehicle infotainment and telematics systems. The company has been an original equipment manufacturer for well over two decades.

***Lucas di Grassi was revealed as a United Nations environmental clean air ambassador over the weekend. His role will center on promoting electric mobility in cities around the world.

***Earl Bamber and Loic Duval were both seen in the Formula E paddock on race day. While double Le Mans winner Bamber was there as a spectator, former Dragon driver Duval was part of the coverage on French TV network Canal+.

***Dindo Capello again put miles on the Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo in Paris with runs on both Friday and Saturday. “The car looks amazing and it feels amazing. The concept of it is really special and it is a great pleasure to drive it on classic streets like Rome and Paris so far,” Capello told e-racing365.

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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