It was a day of mixed emotions for Andre Lotterer, who overcame a drive through penalty to bring his Techeetah home in fourth place but the German feels as though there was a potential victory on offer.
Lotterer stormed into Super Pole earlier in the day and lined up in second place alongside Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Mitch Evans, his best grid position of the season so far.
He remained in the higher reaches of the running order throughout the first part of the race but following a full course yellow for debris scattered by Mahindra Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist the Techeetah driver was handed a drive through penalty for overspeeding.
The same penalty was also applied to Evans, Jose Maria Lopez, Sebastien Buemi and championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne.
Lotterer was clearly unhappy with the decision by the stewards as it cost him an almost-certain podium, but also could have cost him so much more.
“It’s super frustrating, you get these penalties all the time for every little crime, but that’s how it is,” said the 36-year-old. “It was at least a P2, if not even better. The pace in the car was amazing and I’m sure we could have challenged Lucas [di Grassi], so mega frustrating.
“Apparently I hit 57kph, I’m sure I was coming in maybe too quick for a fraction of a second or coming out too fast but I didn’t gain anything out of that and it’s probably the same as all the other drivers who think they penalty was too harsh. That’s how it is and I’ve got to swallow that sour pill.”
While acknowledging that the penalty was correctly applied, Lotterer believes the stewards should be more lenient in their decision-making, especially when no advantage is gained.
“It’s the rules, there’s no point complaining about it but it’s super frustrating. You wish that something they would let a few things slide as it didn’t change anyone’s position.
“I would like to know exactly what happened and for how long I was at 57kph, but there’s no point as it’s non-discussable and we have to move forward.”
Despite the highly-apparent disappointment, Lotterer still looks upon his season as a whole in a positive light and feels as though he is now fully capable of fighting at the front as he aims for his maiden victory.
“[The season has] been a good progression, there have been several occasions that I’ve been at the front and I’ve earned my place with the top guys in Formula E, but I still want my first win, so in New York I’ll be going for that.”