Newly crowned two-time Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne will have to perform one day of public service for the FIA after he was found to have contravened an article of the International Sporting Code relating to conduct.
Vergne and the DS Techeetah team was summoned to the stewards after Sunday’s race over audio of his pit-to-car radio from Saturday’s New York City E-Prix.
“The team radio communications in question suggested that the driver of car No. 25 requested his engineer to direct his teammate, the driver of car No. 36, to stop his car on the circuit to cause the Race Director to call a Safety Car intervention during Round 12,” stated a stewards bulletin issued this evening.
The transcript of the audio details Vergne stating: “Tell Andre to stop … to bring out the Safety Car.”
E-racing365 was played the audio of the clip which was being circulated by other drivers in the post-race media pen after Sunday’s race.
Vergne told the stewards that the context of the messages was that “he knew that car No. 36 (Lotterer) had sustained damage in an incident at Turn 6 on Lap 2 had broken the front wing and had lost time as a result such that it was no longer in contention for a points finish in Round 12.”
The bulletin continued: “He held concerns for his safety and that of other drivers due to debris on track and made the request to his engineer that car No. 36 be requested to stop for that reason only.”
Furthermore, Vergne acknowledged that his communications could have been “misunderstood” and were “inappropriate”.
The audio, which was publicly available via Formula E’s official media application, was not responded to by Vergne’s engineer Pascal Tortosa, according to the FIA bulletin.
The Stewards officially stated that they accepted Vergne’s explanation but detailed that “it is the obligation of a sportsman at this level to act in a fair and correct manner and as a role model to other drivers at all levels of motorsport.”