After the Santiago de Chile ePrix post-race car inspections, FIA has decided to fine teams Techeetah and Dragon with 30.000 and 15.000 euros, respectively, due to modifications on the new safety harnesses the organization gave the teams for this race. The penalty will only be economic and will not change tre results of the race.
The Santiago de Chile ePrix was a historical race on the series. On an exciting, tight race, Techeetah made history becoming the first ever team in the series to achieve a one-two finish, with Jean-Éric Vergne taking win and André Lotterer in second place, getting his first podium finish ever on the series.
However, during post-race inspection, FIA stewards found that both Techeetah cars, as well as Jerome D’Ambrosio‘s Dragon, had modificated their safety harnesses, and decided to fine both teams with 15.000€ per modification, which meant that Techeetah has to pay 30.000 euros.
Luckily for them, the penalty will only be economic, and has not affected in sports terms, which means that Techeetah keep their historical one-two finish and Belgian Dragon driver, who finished the race in eighth place, keeps his first points of the season.
The modifications that were made respond to a rule change. The minimum pit-stop time has been eliminated since this race, and FIA provided the team with new safety harnesses that could gurantee optimal safety conditions. It seems that these teams modifiacted the harnesses in order to fasten the seatbelts more quickly.
Techeetah team principal Mark Preston said that the FIA had not banned this modification, and the federation answered that they will clarify the rules for the next race to avoid such conflict. Team principal also said that they had modificated the harness for practical reasons and safety conditions were not affected. Vergne completed his car change in less time than anyone else.