Still unknown part of Sette Camara's ERT exploded before Formula E race in Mexico! "I'm just glad I'm ok"
On the way to the starting grid of the Mexico City E-Prix, Sergio Sette Camara narrowly escaped a dangerous incident: Suddenly, the red signal lit up on his Formula E car, indicating that the car was no longer safe. The Brazilian jumped out of the car and was therefore uninjured. A little later, a part within the car exploded - potentially related to the battery - causing considerable damage to the ERT. The cause is not yet known.
Even before the start of the race, it was clear that it was going to be a difficult weekend - if not a difficult year - for ERT (formerly: Nio 333 Racing). In the free practice sessions, the team was up to 1.5 seconds slower than the leaders at times. By qualifying, ERT was able to reduce this gap to 0.3 seconds, but it was still only enough for grid positions 18 and 21.
On the way to the starting grid, the worst-case scenario occurred with Sergio Sette Camara's car: "There was a very loud noise at the back of the car," the Brazilian told Motorsport.com. "That was definitely a bigger problem. There was smoke and I saw the red light on the car, which indicates that the car is not safe. Then I jumped out of the car."
A reaction that turned out to be absolutely right. Because a part exploded inside the car and apparently caused severe damage. "After seeing the damage and realising what could have happened, I'm just glad I'm okay," wrote Sette Camara on Instagram. The car was subsequently towed away, as could also be seen on TV.
View this post on Instagram
ERT team principal O'Hagan: "Cause not yet known"
Sette Camara is certain on Instagram that the defect was related to the battery. One could come to a similar conclusion when reading an exclusive FIA statement towards e-Formula.news: "Together with the single supplier for Formula E batteries (WAE) and ERT Formula E Team, we are currently investigating the cause of the issue. Further information will be shared in due course."
ERT team principal Russell O'Hagan commented at the request of e-Formula.news: "The cause of the failure is currently unknown. Neither is the question of whether it was caused by the battery or a part of the vehicle." The team hopes to be able to clarify the cause over the course of the week.
If it was indeed the battery that exploded in Sette Camara's car on Saturday afternoon, it would be the second battery-related incident in just a few weeks. It was only during pre-season testing in Valencia that a car battery caught fire and paralysed testing for two days. Prior to this, there had not been a publicly known comparable problem with a Formula E battery for nine years.