De Vries a ‘passenger’ in race ending incident

by Scott Douglas

Nyck de Vries says that a technical issue was to blame for the incident that ended both his and Robin Frijns’ race at the Mexico City ePrix.

The Mercedes-Benz EQ driver had been challenging in the top five when he came under pressure from Antonio Felix da Costa along the start/finish straight.

De Vries decided to use his FanBoost to defend his position, but a technical issue meant that despite braking for the first corner his rear wheels were still being driven by the powertrain.

The Dutchman aimed for the run-off area as a result, colliding with Frijns and causing damage to both cars.

And while de Vries said he would apologise for the incident, he felt there was nothing he could have done to avoid it given the technical issue with his car.

Unfortunately, my race today ended in the wall,” he commented afterwards. “After it was over, I went to see the stewards about the incident.

“As far as I’m concerned, it was clearly a technical issue that meant I was effectively a passenger in the car.

“I obviously still want to apologise for what happened out there, but the fact is that I was unable to stop the car. Anyway, my focus is now on the next race in Marrakech.”

The incident bore some similarities with Daniel Abt’s crash earlier in the day.

The Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler driver had a ‘software communication problem’ with his car, meaning that it didn’t brake at the end of the back straight.

It led to a huge impact with the barriers, measured at 20G, meaning the German was flown to hospital as a precaution.

“This was the most violent impact of my career,” said Abt.

“I am glad that the cars are so safe and that I survived today almost unharmed. It was a great achievement of my crew to get the car ready to race again.”

Abt did manage to start the race afterwards, but retired late on after making limited progress through the field.

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