During the Formula E qualifying round in Portland, Oregon, the DS Penske team was fined €25,000 and penalized for installing an RFID scanner at the entrance to the pit. The scanner was said to collect data from other race cars, giving them an unfair advantage.
The team’s racers, Stoffel Vandoorne and Jean-Éric Vergne, were hit with a pit lane start penalty for the race. This meant they had to wait at the end of the pit lane until all other cars had driven past before entering the race. The FIA stewards’ explanation for the penalty was provided via email. The stewards were advised by the Technical Delegate that the competitor had installed RFID scanning equipment in the pit lane entry.
Why the Penalty was Appropriate
It is forbidden for competitors to install or place any equipment in the pit lane. The collection of data by this method gives the competitor a lot of information, which is a huge and unfair advantage. Taking all circumstances together, the stewards felt that the given penalty was appropriate.
The Usage of RFID Chips in Formula E Tires
RFID chips have been used in Formula E tires for the entirety of the motorsport. They are used to track the condition of tires, including temperature and tire pressure, and encourage their efficient use. According to a 2014 article in Tyrepress, RFID chips have been used to track tire performance.
The DS Penske team’s decision to install an RFID scanner at the entrance to the pit during the Formula E qualifying round in Portland, Oregon, has resulted in a €25,000 fine. The scanner was said to collect data from other race cars, giving them an unfair advantage. The team’s racers were hit with a pit lane start penalty for the race. The stewards felt that the given penalty was appropriate, as the team’s actions were in violation of the rules.