Ticktum crash takes 4 drivers out of the race - Vandoorne: "Decided to push me into the wall"
After the collision with Jake Dennis in Sao Paulo, Nio 333 driver Dan Ticktum was also involved in an accident at the Formula E race in Berlin. While the Briton saw the incident as a racing accident, not only accident opponent Stoffel Vandoorne disagreed.
On the 19th lap of Saturday's race at the Berlin E-Prix, a momentous crash occurred between Stoffel Vandoorne and Daniel Ticktum in the battle for tenth position. Antonio Felix da Costa initially pushed past Ticktum on the inside of the first corner, putting Ticktum off the pace. Vandoorne also poked into the gap and sat next to the Briton before turn 2.
In the following double right-hander, the Belgian held off on the outside, then ran out of room between the wall on the left and the Nio 333. The vehicles touched.
Both drivers hit the wall and damaged their cars. Subsequently, Jake Hughes and Norman Nato were also involved in the crash. Only Nato was able to continue the race afterwards.
After studying the video footage, the race stewards decided to put the sole blame for the accident on Ticktum. The Briton must move back five positions on the grid for Sunday's race in Berlin. He will also receive two penalty points. Even before the race, Ticktum had been the active driver with the most penalty points in the electric racing series.
"He's put himself in a very vulnerable position"
"I think it was risky," Dan Ticktum told our microphone, describing Vandoorne's attempt to stay alongside him on the outside lane. "The cars are incredibly hard to drive and have no traction control. I had a little slide and caught him. I think it's more of a racing accident."
"But the stewards don't seem to see it that way," Ticktum continued. "I can't say more about it because I'll get myself in more trouble. What I did in Sao Paulo deserved a penalty. It was a blatant miscalculation."
"But this, I don't know," he doubts. "I was driving on the racing line, and he put himself in a very vulnerable position. He's even done that before in a couple of laps. It's just a racing accident for me."
Vandoorne: "Knows who I'm dealing with"
Stoffel Vandoorne sees the situation completely differently. When asked by 'e-formula.news', he explains, "I was on the same level. He knew I was there and then decided not to leave any space and pushed me into the wall. That was the end of both our races."
"He didn't apologize," the reigning champion continued. "I don't expect him to. It's fine. I know who I'm dealing with and I don't have to comment on it any further."
Also Jake Hughes, who was involved, rants at our microphone, "The accident in front of me that I got involved in was a joke. That was the end of my race. I saw them driving on the left side of the track and colliding. I then drove to the right."
"But the cars also both went to the right because they were damaged," Hughes explained further. "The door closed on that. I went full iron and probably could have avoided the crash, but Norman (Nato) hit the back of me. Unfortunately, the rear of the car was damaged in the process."
Nato: "I had nowhere to go"
"I was driving a car behind Jake (Hughes), so I didn't see what happened," Norman Nato said when asked by 'e-formula.news'. "I just got involved in this accident. What I know is that they touched the wall and came back onto the track. Jake then swerved to the inside and I had nowhere to go. That was really bad luck."
"I damaged my front wing," said the Nissan driver, describing the damage to his car. "I'm not sure about the rest, but in any case the steering wheel was crooked after the accident. I was still braking, but the impact caused me to decelerate from 40 or 50 km/h to 0. I also touched the wall on the right. That's why I pitted."
"We changed the nose, and since I had nothing to lose, I went out again," explained the Frenchman. "I did what I could and at least we could finish the race and collect important data for tomorrow. But it was very unfortunate because it looked quite good in terms of energy management. We didn't have the pace today to fight for the front positions, but points were possible."
On Sunday, all four drivers will have another opportunity to fight for points. That's when the second round of the "double-header" in Berlin is scheduled - mid-season.