Nelson Piquet Jr. and Jean-Eric Vergne have differing versions of the spectacular accident that brought today’s Mexico City E-Prix to a halt.
The incident occurred just five minutes into the 45-minute plus one-lap race when the pair were battling over 10th position.
Piquet’s Panasonic Jaguar Racing entry vaulted over the right rear of Vergne’s DS Techeetah and hit the wall at the final chicane, bringing out first a Full Course Yellow, which transitioned into a red flag.
Piquet said he initially thought that Vergne was slowing with a problem as he started to make his move to the inside.
“JEV seemed like he was saving energy early in the race already,” he told e-racing365.
“I exited Turn 12 and he was really slow and I even thought he had a problem so I went to the inside and he started closing the door.
“I was ready to commit to the corner and brake on the inside to pass.”
The surprise of Vergne’s entry speed into the chicane caught out the Brazilian, who was unable to avoid the rear of the DS E-TENSE FE19 .
“I was committing to the corner but when you start defending you expect the guy is going to brake deep,” Piquet said.
“So that caught me by surprise obviously because he was closing the door and I thought he was going to brake deeper, and he braked way too early and when I hit him I was still accelerating.”
Vergne, meanwhile, believes he made his move to defend the corner with adequate time for Piquet to react.
“I closed the door early enough for him to see that it was not this lap and not this corner that I was going to let him by,” Vergne explained.
“I don’t know what he tried to do but he went very fast and hit my rear right, so I don’t understand what he did here.”
Vergne praised his DS Techeetah crew for repairing his damaged car in the red flag period so that he could re-join the restarted race.
“I stopped and the red flag came but my mechanics did a really good job so I have to thank them for that,” he said.
After running in 10th at the restart, Vergne lost any chance of a points-scoring finish after he was tapped in to a spin by Piquet’s Jaguar teammate Mitch Evans later in the race.