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Zurich Post-Race Notebook

Sam Smith’s post-race notebook from an eventful first Zurich E-Prix…

Photo: Formula E

***The reasons for Mitch Evans’ pace drop-off in the final stages of the Zurich E-Prix are still being investigated by the Panasonic Jaguar Racing technical team. “We are still trying to understand it but there were seemingly differing issues in each of the stints,” technical chief Phil Charles told e-racing365. “Mitch drove very well here and we ticked a nice box with the pole today but of course there is a certain amount of frustration on how the race went.”

***Jaguar was handed a €2000 fine after failing to remove the cooling system from Nelson Piquet Jr.’s car before the three-minute signal on the grid yesterday. Piquet registered his fourth consecutive non-points score after his race ended with a driveshaft breakage.

***Earlier in the race Piquet and Daniel Abt were both forced to pit to replace a front and rear wing respectively after a first lap collision at the chicane. “Everyone stopped and I was close to Daniel and we all ran in to each other,” Piquet told e-racing365. “The wing seemed to be ok but we were called in anyway.”

***While Sebastien Buemi and Jean-Eric Vergne were both penalized for going too early and exceeding the 50 km/h limit before the race was re-started, both Jose Maria Lopez and Mitch Evans received the same drive-through sanction for not slowing down sufficiently within the five-second tolerance of the Full Course Yellow being shown.

***Alex Lynn suffered more misfortune after a suspected battery sensor issue confined him to a delayed 16th place finish. “We don’t know yet the precise problem as Spark have to tell us but we suspect something like this yes. It was unfortunate again for Alex as he showed some good pace this weekend,” said acting DS Virgin Team Principal Sylvain Filippi.

***Edoardo Mortara’s race ended when a toe-link broke as he entered the chicane on lap six. His Venturi teammate Maro Engel described his race as “frustrating, as we planned to go one lap extra and the Full Course Yellow screwed us and we pitted the car with 15 percent or something left. So the energy we would have had in hand was erased.”

***Oliver Turvey rued the first mistake he has made in qualifying this season when he glancing the Turn 2 wall in. It was an incident that confined him to a back of the grid and like Engel, the NIO driver was on schedule to go longer in the first stint but was forced to pit with excess unused energy after the Full Course Yellow was deployed.

***Felix Rosenqvist said his altercation with Vergne at Turn 1 was a genuine misunderstanding which had dire consequences for the Mahindra Racing driver who smote the wall. “Just as I turned in he dived at the last moment and I had to do something not to hit him,” the Swede told e-racing365. “But genuinely, I tried to let him through but it didn’t work out like that as I was the one who lost out and he went free, which is a bit harsh.”

***Nicolas Prost’s race was ended seven laps early when the Renault e.dams driver suffered a terminal battery problem. Prost believed he missed out on a potential podium due to the issue.

***Techeetah was fined €1000 after they left a green light board on the car at the car-swap pit stop of Andre Lotterer.

***Andretti’s Stephane Sarrazin was given a post-race penalty for an unsafe release from his pit. As the sanction was given after the race his drive-through penalty was converted into 22 seconds and added to his race time and he was classified in 14th position.

***E-racing365 understands that there is an increased possibility of Formula E racing in Singapore in the near future. Delegates from promoter and organizer Formula E Holdings are in discussion with authorities in the country about a potential event.

***A senior source told e-racing365 that “it is not beyond the realms of possibility that a race could happen there [in Singapore] in 2019.” It remains unclear on precisely where a potential circuit would run on the Asian city-state.

***Maximilian Guenther is emerging as the favorite to partner Lopez at Dragon next season. The German, who currently races in Formula 2 for Arden, will continue to conduct testing of the Penske EV-3 Gen 2 car over the summer period.

***Nissan completed a first three-day test of its Season Five challenger last week. Sebastien Buemi and Prost both got time at the wheel of the car which Nissan’s Global Motorsport Director Michael Carcamo told e-racing365 was “progressing well even though it is still very early days in the development of our overall package.”

***Mark Webber was in Zurich after direct from the celebrations for Porsche’s 70th anniversary as a sports car brand at the factory museum in Stuttgart on Friday evening. Porsche also had a promotional presence with branding along the track.

***Many Swiss motorsport personalities are present in the Zurich paddock, including single-seater team owner Andreas Jenzer who, with his eponymous team, helped promote the careers of, among others, fellow Swiss Nico Mueller and Fabio Leimer. Former F1 team owner Peter Sauber was also at the race.

***Nico Mueller attended the Zurich E-Prix in his capacity as test and development driver with the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler squad. E-racing365 revealed last week that the Swiss driver could find a race seat in the series next season.

***Professional skiing stars Lara Gut, Wendy Holdener and former downhill aces Didier Cuche and Marco Buechel were in attendance at Zurich yesterday. Gut was able to sample a passenger ride in the Audi Vision e-tron GT driven by Dindo Capello.

Rene de Boer contributed to this report

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

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