Five drivers ruled out of Formula E race as investigation launched

The Formula E season is well underway, with the fifth round in South Africa currently taking place.

Formula E has grown phenomenally in recent years, with many ex-F1 drivers making the jump over to the electric racing series.

Aston Martin reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne is currently a Formula E driver, meaning that he was unable to stand in for Lance Stroll in Bahrain due to his commitments in South Africa.

Heading into the fifth Formula E race of the season, a shocking five drivers have been forced to withdraw from the upcoming race in Cape Town, taking the number of entrants down from 22 to 17.

The Mahindra team have announced that they have been forced to withdraw from the race due to safety concerns surrounding their rear suspension, an announcement which also affects their customer team ABT Motorsport, taking them out of the race as well.

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“Mahindra Racing Formula E team have confirmed their withdrawal from the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship qualifying sessions and race in Cape Town due to rear suspension safety concerns,” read an official statement.

“A thorough investigation on the suspension elements of the Mahindra M9Electro race cars will take place on the team’s return to the UK. This decision also affects their customer team ABT Motorsport.”

Mahindra’s withdrawal sees 10th placed Lucas di Grassi unable to race in Cape Town, as well as his teammate Oliver Rowland.

ABT Motorsport also having to withdraw from the race sees another two drivers pull out of the South African race, with Nico Mueller and Kelvin van der Linde ruled out.

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The fifth driver to pull out of the race this week is Jaguar’s Sam Bird, with the damage from his qualifying crash not being repaired in time for the race.

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Maserati’s Edoardo Mortara has crashed into the barriers at turn 9 and instead of instant yellow flags, there was a delay until the red flag was eventually shown.

This delay meant that Bird was travelling at full speed towards the incident and was not given enough time by the red flag call to slow down, resulting in him colliding with Mortara’s car.

Both drivers were uninjured but unfortunately Sam Bird will be unable to compete in the Cape Town race, leaving only 17 drivers remaining.