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Paris Post-Race Notebook

Sam Smith’s post-race Notebook from an eventful Paris E-Prix…

Photo: Formula E

***The decision to start the Paris E-Prix behind the safety car came about due to the right-hand side of the grid being wet after a pre-race rain shower. This would have disadvantaged the drivers starting from even number grid positions.

***Second-placed finisher Andre Lotterer said that it was the right decision citing fairness for all the drivers on the grid.

“I didn’t actually [think] that they would do such thing, because I went and I heard the right lane is completely wet and I thought wait a minute, it would be nice if they could start with the safety car, that would be fair and they actually did it so I think it is pretty fair for the race,” explained Lotterer.

***Daniel Abt described the treacherous conditions as some of the most demanding and unpredictable that he had ever encountered. The Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler driver took his second podium of the season in third position.

“It was just crazy really, there was zero grip, you feel like you brake so early everywhere, but then go five meters later and you are going to miss the corner, you have no traction at all,” said Abt.

***Early race leader Sebastien Buemi suffered a deflating tire after damage sustained when he was hit by Robin Frijns while he went for his first Attack Mode boost. The contact to his Nissan IM01 occurred at precisely the point where the valve insert is located on his Michelin tire and caused a slow deflation.

***Max Guenther claimed his first points in Formula E with a largely trouble-free drive to fifth position for GEOX Dragon. The German is currently on a race-by-race deal with the team.

“I’m very happy about fifth place and my first points in the ABB FIA Formula E – even ten,” said Guenther. “The conditions in the rain were extremely difficult, but I really enjoyed driving in the wet and fighting for positions. I was in the top five again and I’m very happy that the hard work finally paid off.”

***Several drivers have been hit with three-place grid penalties for the Monaco E-Prix in two weeks’ time. Edoardo Mortara, Jerome d’Ambrosio and Oliver Rowland were handed the penalties after being adjudged to have triggered accidents.

***Mortara’s sanction was for colliding with Alex Lynn’s Jaguar; d’Ambrosio was penalized for causing an accident that affected Sam Bird; and Rowland had his served for his contact with Alexander Sims.

***Despite both NIO cars being in the top ten for the early portion of the race, the team missed out on adding to its points total when Tom Dillmann’s suspension broke and Oliver Turvey collided with Felipe Massa.

***Turvey received a drive-through penalty for his contact with Massa which was converted to a 50-second penalty after he was unable to take the penalty in the closing stages of the race due to a lengthy Full Course Yellow to clear away the Alex Lynn and Edoardo Mortara wreckage.

***Mahindra Racing’s penalty for a tire pressure infringement which cost Pascal Wehrlein pole position was down to a faulty calibration tool and a lack of consistent data from the shortened Free Practice sessions, according to the team.

***Sebastien Buemi was given an official reprimand for causing the accident which pitched Sam Bird’s Envision Virgin Audi into the barriers during Free Practice 1.

***Mitch Evans’ run of points finishes in the last eight Formula E races came to an end in Paris after he inflicted front wing damage on his Jaguar I-TYPE 3.

“The race was absolute mayhem in the rain. Alex [Lynn] and I were looking strong, so it was a shame to have the wing damage as we could have been in the points, but it wasn’t to be today,” said Evans.

***Felipe Massa says his pace was impeded by water coming into his visor, forcing the Venturi driver to drive with his visor open. “That destroyed my chances as I had to slow my pace and I even span once, which lost me many positions,” he said.

***A slightly earlier start to Season Six is presently being explored after concern was raised by several manufacturers about the possibility of opening races in Ad Diriyah being scheduled on Dec. 20-21.

***Opening races, which could be night races, are now being considered for the weekend of Nov. 29-30. The site of the Ad Diriyah track last week hosted the announcement of the Dakar Rally route for 2020 which starts on Jan. 5.

***E-racing365 understands that next season’s provisional calendar may not include a race in Marrakesh. The Moroccan event could be dropped to make way for a possible South/Central American triple-header in January and February, which could involve Sao Paulo, Santiago and Mexico City.

***Confirmation on just a single in-season test day next season is expected shortly. The single test day is likely to again take the form of another official rookie test which could take place in Mexico City.

***Some current Formula E staff will be moved over to Extreme E operations in the coming months. A new office facility has been acquired close to Formula E’s Hammersmith base in London.

***Mahindra team principal Dilbagh Gill will test one of the team’s Gen 1 Formula E cars at Calafat on Monday. Gill acquired the car, which was previously driven by Felix Rosenqvist, last year and will drive alongside several Indian journalists who will sample the Gen 2 car during the filming day in Spain.

***Envision Virgin Racing hosted an Innovation Summit at the Les Invalides track on Saturday morning. Envision’s Franz Jung, Virgin’s Josh Bayliss, Kaspersky founder Eugene Kaspersky and Christina Figueres, Former Executive Secretary at the United Nations, all spoke at the event.

***Jaguar Brazil Racing driver Sergio Jimenez has told e-racing365 that he believes mixing up the race format for future Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY campaigns would be a good idea.

“I think we need something to aid overtaking, something like attack mode maybe. I think we need to save energy in the race so we have more dynamic and have more things to do during the race,” said Jimenez.

***Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren’s former managing director, was a visitor to the Paris E-Prix paddock. Prodrive founder and chairman David Richards was also spotted on-site.

***Chinese manufacturer Geely has named its new electric vehicle brand as Geometry. Known as Jihe in Chinese, the new division has targeted launching ten all-electric models by 2024.

***First-time Formula E winner Robin Frijns leapt to the top of the points standings with his win and fastest lap. The Envision Virgin driver now has 81 points and leads Andre Lotterer by a single point, while Antonio Felix da Costa and Lucas di Grassi tie for third on 70.

***The teams’ standings sees DS Techeetah extend its lead to seven points over Envision Virgin Racing, while Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler places third ahead of Mahindra Racing.

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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