Lucas di Grassi and Sam Bird have called on the FIA to ensure that more consistent penalties are given out for dangerous driving after Andre Lotterer was punished for his defensive driving in Paris
Lotterer was given a ten-place grid drop for the Berlin ePrix for causing a collision with Bird on the final lap, in which a crawling, low on useable energy Lotterer was in the middle of the racing line, leaving Sam Bird with no way to avoid crashing into the rear of the Techeetah driver given the speed difference between the two cars.
Di Grassi was also furious with Lotterer’s defending during their earlier battle for second place. The Audi Sport driver felt that Lotterer’s driving standards could have very easily caused an accident.
“By the way, he was defending, I knew he was going to run out of energy,” explained di Grassi. “So I waited for him to run out of energy. Then he made a mistake. I went side by side with him, and he just crashed me into the wall, which was three laps before the end. Then he was weaving around two or three times in a straight.
“Just as he ran out of energy and I tried to overtake him, he still tried to block me into the wall. There was no need for that,” added di Grassi.
Bird explained that the drivers had spoken about this style of driving in the drivers’ briefings and that the FIA had to set a precedent with Lotterer’s penalty.
“We discussed in driver briefings about this kind of driving,” said Bird “You cannot move under braking when it is obvious that people are going to be overtaking you. It’s not on in any form of motorsport. I think that Lotterer’s driving was not correct today.
“It’s just getting too much now. I had a bit of it in Punta Del Este, it’s just a bit too aggressive now, and he needs to be told.
“Something needs to change, but it needs to be consistent for everyone, not just Lotterer. So if others do it, then the same penalty should be given,” added Bird.
Di Grassi agreed, urging the FIA to hand out penalties for anyone who drives over the limit in any future E-Prix.
The Brazilian declared: “The stewards need to hand out tough penalties because if they let it slip them, everyone will start driving like this. So we want standards that must be the same for every driver so we can stamp these defending moves out of the series.”