Pit Fake Out Fails To Fool Stewards and Earns Lucas di Grassi a DQ in London

Lucas di Grassi and his Audi team found out Sunday that slow isn’t good enough.

During a safety car period during Sunday’s Formula E London E-Prix, the second race of the weekend, the Audi team tried a bit of trickery. Driver di Grassi was called in from 8th and after slowing to an ever so brief stop he continued out of the pits and rejoined the field in the lead.

According to the team the safety car was running at such a low pace that the pit lane speed was actually quicker. Thus, when di Grassi made his brief stop he gained the lead. Normally such a move would be within the rules, had di Grassi actually stopped.

Stewards however were quick to penalize the team with a drive through penalty saying the car had not actually come to a complete stop. The penalty went unserved and di Grassi was disqualified after the race, dropped out of the points, and fined.

UNSEEN [email protected] almost pulled off an audacious move after nipping through the pitlane to grab the lead during a safety car period.

But it was ruled he didn’t come to a stop before exiting the pit and was black flagged for declining a drive-through penalty. pic.twitter.com/DeXEI11K0V

“Let’s be honest: It was a disappointing day for us today,” said Team Principal Allan McNish. “We tried a strategy move with Lucas that was allowed by the regulations and that other teams have done in the past, but unfortunately it didn’t work out one hundred percent and we accept the FIA stewards decisions.”

Di Grassi said he wasn’t informed of the penalty and continued racing in the lead all the way to the checkered flag. The stewards had shown him a black flag for ignoring their instructions and Alex Lynn who crossed the line second was declared the winner.

“That was a good strategy by the team, which found an opportunity in the regulations and took advantage of it,” said di Grassi. “Given the close standings in the title fight, we didn’t want to leave any opportunity unused.”

The news for the Audi team wasn’t helped by the fact that their second driver Rene Rast was knocked out of the race in the early stages after a tangle with Sebastien Buemi.

The FIA later said it would close the “loophole” and such moves won’t be tolerated in the future.

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