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Stoffel Vandoorne is not allowed to qualify for the second Formula E race

Stoffel Vandoorne is not allowed to qualify for the second Formula E race of the season.
Photo: Daimler AG

A fuss just before the start of qualifications for the second Formula E race in Diriyah: the Mercedes and Venturi teams were banned from qualifying. The affected drivers include Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck De Vries, winner of the first race on Friday.

Stoffel Vandoorne can forget a good result in the second Formula E race of the season, if the West Flemish can take the start at all on Saturday evening. While the West Flemish was completely ready to start the qualifications on the street circuit of Diriyah, the race management decided that his Mercedes team was not allowed to drive. The Venturi racing stable, which uses the same Mercedes power sources, was also banned.

This has to do with a strange incident at the end of the third free practice. Venturi driver Edo Mortara had just completed a test start, but the Swiss car did not slow down in the braking zone for the first corner. The Venturi crashed into the security wall at full speed, fortunately without consequences for Mortara.

It soon became clear that something had gone wrong with the brakes or power source in the Venturi. The race management decided that the problem had to be solved before the cars were allowed on the track again. That was not the case at the start of the qualifying sessions.

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