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Mahindra Protest Falls Through on Technicalities

Mahindra had an unsuccessful protest of the top two finishers in the Monaco E-Prix…

Photo: Formula E

The top two finishers in Saturday’s Monaco E-Prix, Jean-Eric Vergne and Oliver Rowland, were both protested by Mahindra Racing on an alleged non-compliance of the minimum tire pressures.

The official protest on the pair was submitted just after the end of the race but was dismissed on two administrative technicalities.

These were two paperwork errors made on the protest; one being that it was not made to the chairman of the stewards, Paolo Longoni, and the second being that it was lodged against drivers and not the competitor.

Article 13.5.1 of the International Sporting Code details that “protests arising out of a Competition shall be addressed to the chairman of the stewards.”

The protests came after the FIA modified the minimum working pressure from 1.3 bar to 1.4 bar just prior to the Monaco event.

As revealed by e-racing365, the change saw just one single pressure implemented for teams rather than a cold and warm pressure reading after sessions.

The rule, which was instigated by the FIA, has been largely unpopular with teams throughout its existence in Formula E, on account of unclear details such as when and precisely how pressures are measured before and after cars are run.

Specifics on how the measurements take into account conditions such as direct sunlight or shaded areas before and during the taking of the measurements are not presently clear.

It is also unknown precisely how long after the race the measurements were taken on the top two cars that were protested by Mahindra.

Michelin engineers have the right to take measurements at any stage during an event.

Some teams are known to have deliberately placed tires in sunlight immediately prior to the start of races.

This is because setting the pressures to the minimum (now 1.4 bar) in a higher ambient temperature causes less air to be sealed in the tire, effectively using a correctional method and taking advantage of the differing conditions.

The FIA, Mahindra, DS Techeetah, Nissan and Michelin declined to comment on the matter when approached by 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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