Sebastien Buemi’s Formula E championship hopes took a hit on Saturday night when the FIA stewards disqualified him from the opening Montreal race for running an underweight car.
A practice crash left Renault with a tough rebuild to complete on one of Buemi’s cars, which only arrived in the pit lane with minutes to spare.
Buemi’s cars were kept in parc ferme for further technical checks, with the stewards finding that his second car was underweight.
Despite fully considering the circumstances under which the second car was entered to the race, the stewards confirmed Buemi’s disqualification three hours after the chequered flag.
“The stewards note that this car was in large part destroyed in an accident during practice two. The team used a new monocoque, battery pack and gearbox as well as many other new parts,” a statement from the stewards reads.
“There was reportedly insufficient time to weight the car after the rebuild and before the race, even though the weighing platform schedule had been increased by 30 minutes the technical delegate. The team reportedly added 4 kg additional ballast to compensate for any weight variation in the rebuilt car.
“The competitor is reminded of his right to appeal in accordance with Article 15 of the FIA International Sporting Code and Article 9.1.1 of the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules.”
As a result, Lucas di Grassi now heads into Sunday’s season finale with an 18-point advantage over Buemi, meaning a fourth place finish would be enough to capture a maiden Formula E crown.