Putrajaya ePrix: Off track news round-up

Trulli’s woes continue

After failing to participate in the opening Beijing ePrix after parts of their car were held up in customs, the Trulli team’s fortunes went from bad to worse at the Putrajaya ePrix.

Things were looking up as the team announced early in the week that their four cars were present and correct at the Malaysian track.

There were a few bumps in the ride: on Friday it was announced that Jarno Trulli would be returning to the cockpit of the Motomatica JT-01 in place of Salvador Duran, who was reportedly in breach of contract.

It was a last-minute call, we had to replace him here and nobody else was around – Jarno Trulli

However, a few hours later the fateful announcement was made: for the second race in a row, Trulli would not participate in the ePrix.

“It is with big regret that we announce that we won’t participate in tomorrow’s race,” said team principal Lucio Cavato.

“I’d also like to thank the FIA and FEH for extending the scrutineering time. Unfortunately for us, it just was not enough time to complete the cars.”

Trulli drivers out on track
Credit: Trulli Formula E Team

Formula E’s commitment to fan engagement continues with launch of official app

Formula E this week launched their official mobile app.

The app has been built-in conjunction with Intellicore, the leading producer of mobile media and sports broadcasting using its class-leading Playrz platform, and allows users to keep up to date with all the breaking news, see profiles of the 10 teams and 20 drivers and access the FanBoost voting platform. Live streaming is also available in selected territories.

For more information, visit the official Formula E website.

Problems Galore

Many of the teams struggled with various reliability and technical issues thanks to the unrelenting Malaysian heat.

Mahindra suffered a battery issue for Nick Heidfeld in the second stint, which damaged his cooling system and resulted in overheating. Bruno Senna recovered from a glitch that stopped his car momentarily under the safety car which meant he dropped down the pack.

The team also had radio communication problems with both its drivers, which resulted in confusion when Nick Heidfeld came in to serve a drive-through penalty.

I got a drive-through penalty for an early release in the pit stop but because we had no radio, I wasn’t sure what kind of penalty I had to serve and a marshall error meant it was more of a stop-and-go penalty. Having no radio means you are so limited in what you can do with energy and engine temperature so in many ways we were driving blind. – Nick Heidfeld

Oliver Turvey retired in the opening laps: ‘I had a sticking throttle from the start that meant that when I lifted off the throttle the motor was still driving the car, so it was impossible to drive really. Then the car switched off in the hairpin on the first two laps so I was trying to manage and get round the laps to swap cars as soon as possible.

‘But then I came into turn 5, which is a tight corner, and it just drove me straight forwards into the wall unfortunately.’

Stephane Sarrazin was plagued by issues before the race began, ‘Unfortunately I was on the grid and I just lost power. I had to reset all the systems and nothing happened, so I had to ask a marshall to push me back and the engineer reset it with a computer. It’s a problem and we have to fix it because it’s not fair.

‘We didn’t do anything wrong with the team, but the system is not working so we have to be sure all the cars are the same because sometimes it’s working, sometimes not. I start last and I could have a done a very good, strong result.’

Nico Prost suffered battery issues in both his cars, ‘Basically my two batteries were old spec because they had some problem in Beijing and I had four failures today so I need an explanation from the team because there was no reason for most of them. We need to find out why as they were not overheating. I’m really not happy as I think we should have finished easily on the podium today.’

His team-mate Sebastien Buemi also had technical issues, ‘I had plenty of energy in the car and it just stopped, I didn’t want to try to do another lap even though I had the option to do at least another two but I came into the box just to make sure. I thought it might be better but it happened again with the second car.’

Read the full review of the race here.

Formula E returns on 19th December for the Punta del Este ePrix. 

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