Virgin Racing driver and FIA Formula E championship rookie Nick Cassidy was in a collision with Oliver Rowland that left somethings to say at the Rome E-Prix. Cassidy had taken pole position by three tenths of the seconds over Norman Nato, but lost that lead at Turn 3 of the race.
Following the start procedure behind the Safety Car due to wet patches at Turns 5 and 7, Cassidy pulled away but went ahead almost immediately when he blocked the rear tires.
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On the team radio to racing engineer Stephen Lane, the Super GT and Super Formula champion soon attributed it to a software problem reporting that he had barely touched the brakes.
“That’s an instant driver reaction. We need to look into what happened for sure,” said Cassidy to Autosport.
The driver rejoined in tenth place and advanced to battle Nissan e.dams racer Oliver Rowland seventh three laps later when the pair collided and Cassidy hit the TecPro barrier.
With Cassidy in the middle of the track to defend against Nico Muller’s Dragon Penske Autosport, Rowland tried to go inside and the crash occurred.
Rowland received a 10-second penalty and had two points added to his racing license.
The winner of the Berlin E-Prix race told Autosport: “I went up the inside, but I didn’t go all the way up inside because I didn’t also want to feed him into the wall on the exit. I felt like he just turned as if I was not there. I am not really sure what I should do there. I cannot disappear. I got the penalty but I do not know.”
“The way I see it, if someone’s up the inside you can’t just turn in like they’re not there. Where was I supposed to go? I was on the inside,” he added.
Rowland later questioned the application of the rules that had earned him the reprimand.
“Where’s the car width that you’re meant to leave? The regulation is if you have any part of your car alongside the other one, you must leave one car width. I was not fully inside but he turned like I wasn’t there. I do not do that anymore. It seems to be a Formula E thing.”
Written by I Jhonattan González