Start-line is in the wrong place: Vergne

Jean-Eric Vergne believes that the start position for the Rome E-Prix is in the wrong place, after admitting he wasn’t surprised that there was an incident at the start line during free practice. 

The Frenchmen was hit from a stationary position during practice by Oliver Turvey who entered the quick Turn 6 corner at 2o0km/h and smashed into the back of Vergne’s car. The double Formula E champion did admit that the crash was “bizarre” but felt that the location of the start line created the potential for this kind of accident.

“I think Formula E need to look at where we start races,” said Vergne. “It was clear to us that this was not the greatest starting position because the track is too tight to try and get 24 cars into Turn 7. I think it is very similar to Bern when we all knew there would be a crash. 

“I don’t know why we take a risk with the start line. Today’s race started under safety car because it was damp, but I can see tomorrow starting under safety car in the dry because it could be chaos into the first corner tomorrow. 

“But looking at the incident, it is a bizarre one. Turvey has been in the series since season one and knows we have a  practice start at the end of practice. So I don’t really know why the accident happened, but maybe if he had more time to see us he would have slowed down more, rather than seeing us when it was too late through a corner.” 

Jaguar’s Sam Bird was also left confused to why the circuit layout starts between Turn 6 and 7. The Brit felt there were much better starting positions on the track elsewhere.

“For me it makes sense to start the race between Turn 14 and 15,” said Bird. “For me, it gives us a much better opportunity of getting through a corner. We all know that after a practice session we have a start practice, which most of us take, but if you didn’t want to take it you have more room at Turn 14 and 15 to get through. 

“I think the Turn 7 area is too easy for people to get together and have an unnecessary crash. The start is on a high speed corner which is very strange.”

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