Pascal Wehrlein has called his disqualification from the opening race of the Puebla E-Prix as ‘Very Tough’ after the German lost victory in Mexico just as he took the chequered flag.
His Tag Heuer Porsche Formula E Team failed to declare the race tyres on his or team-mate André Lotterer’s cars prior to the race, with a steward’s investigation subsequently disqualifying both from the final result.
Wehrlein had not put a foot wrong after starting from pole position, but his wait for his maiden ABB FIA Formula E World Championship victory goes on.
“It’s hard to find the right words for what happened today,” said Wehrlein. “After qualifying on pole, we deserved the first win and we did it too on this track.
“Ultimately, a mistake was made in the tyre registration, which wouldn’t have changed the performance. In my opinion, disqualification is a very tough penalty. But now we’re looking ahead and we’ll attack again tomorrow.”
Amiel Lindesay, the Head of Operations of the Porsche Formula E team, praised Wehrlein for putting in a flawless drive but apologised to him for their operational error behind the scenes.
“Pascal did a flawless job today,” said Lindesay. “After setting pole position, he was the first across the line in the race. Unfortunately, we made a mistake that cost us our first Formula E victory.
“Such things must not happen. We’ll work through this incident together. We’re a team after all: We win and we lose together. Tomorrow is another day. We’ll come back even stronger.”
Wehrlein was involved in the battle for the win again on Sunday at the Autódromo Miguel E. Abed but was unable to find a way ahead of ROKiT Venturi Racing’s Edoardo Mortara as he took the chequered flag in second place.
However, another penalty came his way, this time for an improper use of fanboost, and the five-second time penalty relegated him to fourth.
“We were really strong over the entire weekend,” said Wehrlein. “Compared to the last race we took a huge step forward. I’m very happy about that.
“My relationship with the team gets better from race to race. I understand how to get even faster with the Porsche 99X Electric, and the team understands how I’d like the car to be. We can be proud of the progress that we’ve made together.
“First and second in qualifying, first and second in the race – without the disqualification and the time penalty we’d be on top of the championship right now. I look forward to the races in New York City.”
Porsche have subsequently announced that they will appeal the disqualification.