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Vergne Given Community Service Punishment for Radio Messages

Jean-Eric Vergne to serve FIA community service for radio messages transmitted in New York…

Photo: Formula E

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.”

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 from 2014-17. Contact Sam



  1. Avatar

    Mr. KnowItAll

    July 15, 2019 at 3:41 am

    So far I believed that Vergne is a very worthy champion, turns out he is not…I am just wondering why the penalty is not way more drastic.

  2. Avatar


    July 15, 2019 at 6:57 am

    Pathetic!! the punishment should be harsh.

  3. Avatar

    Old Trombone

    July 15, 2019 at 10:05 am

    Let me get this right: Nelsinho was a criminal for doing this, Briatore was exiled forever for it, Symonds lost his job and never recovered because of it.

    But Vergne, he has to be a hero r some kids for a day.

    Vergne – not a hero, should be banned and exiled like he others for the SAME CRIME.

    • Avatar


      July 15, 2019 at 2:19 pm

      There’s a big difference:
      – Piquet jr. was asked before the race by his higher-ups to crash his car to cause a safety car.
      – Vergne asked during the race to have his teammate, who already had damage, stop on track to cause a safety car.

      Not defending either, but comparing the two seems inappropriate to me.

  4. Avatar


    July 15, 2019 at 11:58 am

    Lol @ all the people who are butthurt about this. Vergne wants to win at any cost. He has the right mentality and this wasn’t hurting anybody. It’s his and his team’s job to push the limit of the rules and the steward’s job to enforce the rules. Sure he got caught, that’s all part of the game.

    • Avatar

      Tired of morons

      July 15, 2019 at 6:10 pm

      Wow, please tell me you don’t ever vote, raise kids or build anything that may harm other people. That EXACT attitude is at the heart of many industrial and engineering mistakes. That is NOT the game and those who pretend it is are cheats. There is no debate and that attitude needs to be in the bin like the male chauvinist attitudes if the past. They’re both bs and primping to make yourself feel more important

      • Avatar

        Old Trombone

        July 16, 2019 at 10:30 am

        Thanks ToM!

        I agree completely. Bernie Ecclestone used Matt’s attitude, and sure he made some cash, but he left F1 in a poor state, both him and F1. Assuming all of life is about cheating other people’s lives, it’s all a constant game of cheating, is called “nihilism”, it’s a psychology that says stealing from a baby is OK because the baby is weak and will have to wait til it grows up before it can have anything by stealing things itself.

    • Avatar

      Old Trombone

      July 16, 2019 at 10:33 am

      Hey Matt, you are utterly ridiculously stupidly nihilist. Now, that didn’t hurt did it? It’s just internet words, part of the commenting game…

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