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Gunther loses maiden Formula E podium

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Nov 23, 2019, 3:43 PM

Maximilian Gunther has been handed a penalty after the second Formula E race at Diriyah, and the BMW Andretti driver will lose his second-place finish as a result.

Gunther had 24 seconds added to his time after passing third-placed Lucas di Grassi and Stoffel Vandoorne at the end of the first safety car.

As race winner Alexander Sims backed up the pack, he went off-line to take attack mode, as di Grassi followed suit. 

While the regulations do not permit overtaking until the safety car line, including drivers taking attack mode, Gunther passed di Grassi regardless and also dived down the inside of Vandoorne at Turn 18 to move up to third.

Those overtakes were investigated by the FIA after the race, where Gunther took a provisional second after clearing Antonio Felix da Costa.

“Unfortunately, the rule is that you can't pass until you get to the control line,” FIA race director Scot Elkins told Motorsport.com. 

“So some of that happened - the problem we had was that there was so much going on at that point.

“We had guys going on the attack mode, we had a couple of guys went to the pit lane, we had a lot of things happening, so it took a really long time to suss out what really happened.

“It’s just the part of this circuit where the attack mode was in relation to the safety car line.”

Gunther drops to 11th overall, while di Grassi assumes second place and Vandoorne collects his second top three finish of the weekend.

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Nyck de Vries has also been handed a five-second penalty for a battery transgression, after his Mercedes team failed to comply with the instructions set out by the official FIA supplier, along with 24 seconds for also overtaking under the safety car.

Finishing seventh, de Vries ultimately assumes 16th position.

Furthermore, Oliver Turvey was disqualified from the race for using more than the allotted allowable energy from the battery.

Having finished eighth on the road, Turvey loses the four points he scored for his NIO 333 team after going 0.06kWh over the maximum useable energy boundary.

Those penalties elevate Jean-Eric Vergne, Brendon Hartley and Antonio Felix da Costa into the points - Vergne and Hartley opening their accounts for the new season.

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About this article

Series Formula E
Event Diriyah E-prix II
Sub-event Race
Drivers Maximilian Gunther
Teams BMW i Andretti Motorsport