Vergne says he needs 'to cool down’ after frustrating Rome penalty
Jean-Eric Vergne says the inconsistent way that penalties have been awarded in Formula E this season has been ‘massive’ and says he needs ‘24 hours to cool down’ after seeing his chance to regain the championship lead slip away in Rome.
Reigning champion Vergne had charged through the field to seventh having started the race from 17th on the grid but was handed a penalty late on for overtaking while the race was under full course yellow conditions.
Vergne, who was classified 13th as a result, explained to eRacing Magazine why a penalty decision from an earlier round led him to make the move and why he feels decision making in Formula E currently is ‘not normal’.
“I respect the decision, I think it’s fair,” said Vergne.
“When you have the full course yellow, you should not be overtaking after the countdown, but the reason I did it [in Rome] was because in Mexico I was overtaken by three cars during this countdown.
“It was right before the red flag situation so I had the time to go and see the stewards and they reviewed the incident and they said it was fine, and then the race director told me as well it was fine, so today I did the same because they said it was fine but it was not.
“The inconsistency has been massive. Especially, when I am being told off by the stewards about this incident. I explained the story from Mexico and [the steward] said ‘I cannot tell you because I was not in Mexico’ and that he was not aware of the incident in Mexico. It’s not normal I think.”
Vergne heads to his home race in Paris at the end of April hoping to become the first driver to win more than once this season in Formula E. The reigning champion believes he’s still in contention to retain his title but stressed that further mistakes like this could be costly.
“I was supposed to lead the championship today. Right now I think I need 24hrs to cool down and then think about Paris,” said Vergne.
“I’m only like 10 or 15 points behind the leader, it’s nothing. Everything is possible but with mistakes like this, it can cost us the championship. We’re pretty much still in contention, so no big drama just a massive frustration.
“I had the fastest lap by six-tenths today. I started 17th behind da Costa di Grassi but pulled out a 12-second gap in front of them, overtaking them, so the car was brilliant.
“We have a good car, we just need to have a weekend with no issues.”
Image Credit: Formula E
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