Stoffel Vandoorne has been disqualified from Qualifying for the opening race of the Valencia E-Prix after his car was found to have breached tyre regulations.
The Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team driver had qualified on pole position in Valencia, but now will find himself right at the back of the field, with DS Techeetah’s António Félix da Costa now inheriting first place on the grid.
Vandoorne was found to have used tyres that did not have the appropriate identification as declared in the car’s technical passport that had been completed prior to the third round of the 2020-21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship season in Spain.
“On the sidewall of each tyre, appropriate identification will be applied,” reads Article 25.3 of Formula E’s sporting regulations.
“The only allowable markings applied by the Competitor onto the tyre sidewalls are for the purpose of identification of the car number, the set number and the tyre location.
“All other markings are prohibited.”
As a result, rather than starting at the front of the field as he was expecting, he will now have it all to do from the back of the grid if he even wants to break into the top ten and into the points.
Félix da Costa will now lead the field to the start, and he will be joined on the front row by BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Maximilian Günther.