Pit stop error costs Andretti chance of points

2016/2017 FIA Formula E Championship. Aut—dromo Hermanos Rodr’guez, Mexico City, Mexico Saturday 1 April 2017. Robin Frijns (NLD), Amlin Andretti, Spark-Andretti, ATEC-02. Photo: Sam Bloxham/LAT/Formula E ref: Digital Image _J6I6717

MS Amlin Andretti were left pointless after the Mexico City ePrix as a miscommunication over the minimum pit stop time took them out of contention.

Drivers Robin Frijns and Antonio Felix da Costa managed to get into the points positions after their stops, but this was largely in part to having stopped for three seconds shorter than the rest of the field.

It came after what the team described as a ‘miscommunication’ over what the minimum pit stop time was for the race, with it actually being set at one minute, rather than 57 seconds.

It meant that both drivers were given drive through penalties, taking Frijns out of the top ten, and with da Costa retiring with a mechanical fault before he could serve his.

Co-Team Principal Roger Griffiths said afterwards that the team were disappointed with the error, but that there were positives to take from the weekend.

He said, “We had a mechanical issue on Antonio’s car which was the luck of racing and unfortunately for Robin, we had a miscommunication on the minimum pit stop time.

“We executed to what we thought and understood to be correct but it was obviously wrong. We are very disappointed for both Robin and Antonio, they both drove a great race.

“We had an aggressive strategy and on race day we executed it to plan but unfortunately on the operations side it didn’t go the way we wanted it to.

“We’ve made some good progress with [most of] the operational aspects of the race team and we have to take the positives with the negatives.”

Without the penalty Frijns believed that he could have potentially finished fourth or fifth, but said that the car felt like it was faster than some of their mid-field competitors.

“I felt like I was quicker than the cars in front of me but it is hard to overtake on the front stretch,” the Dutchman said.

“Then the team made a mistake in the pit stop, we went three seconds quicker than was allowed so we got a drive-through penalty.

“Without the penalty we could have finished P4 or P5 so it was definitely a disappointment.”

The result saw Andretti stay in eighth in the team’s championship, with da Costa and Frijns mired down in twelfth and sixteenth respectively.

Driver’s Championship

1Sebastien BuemiSUIRenault e.dams76
2Lucas di GrassiBRAAbt Schaeffler Audi71
3Nico ProstFRARenault e.dams46
4Jean-Eric VergneFRATecheetah40
5Sam BirdGBRDS Virgin Racing33
6Felix RosenqvistSWEMahindra Racing20
7Daniel AbtGERAbt Schaeffler Audi20
8Nick HeidfeldGERMahindra Racing17
9Nelson Piquet JrBRANextEV TIO15
10Oliver TurveyGBRNextEV TIO15
11Mitch EvansNZLPanasonic Jaguar Racing12
12Antonio Felix da CostaPORAndretti10
13Jose Maria LopezARGDS Virgin Racing10
14Jerome d'AmbrosioBELFF Dragon Racing10
15Loic DuvalFRAFF Dragon Racing9
16Robin FrijnsNEDAndretti8
17Adam CarrollGBRPanasonic Jaguar Racing4
18Maro EngelGERVenturi2
19Stephane SarrazinFRAVenturi1
20Esteban GutierrezMEXTecheetah1

Team’s Championship

1Renault e.damsFRA122
2Abt Schaeffler AudiGER91
3DS Virgin RacingGBR43
5Mahindra RacingIND37
7FF Dragon RacingUSA19
8MS Amlin AndrettiUSA18
9Panasonic Jaguar RacingGBR16