Formula E Driver Fined €10,000 For Unauthorized Underwear

Lucas di Grassi put on the wrong trousers and found himself in the hot seat.

Formula E Punta del Este E-Prix
Handout—Getty Images

Formula E driver Lucas di Grassi was fined €10,000 (around $12,300 USD) in the wake of the Punta del Este ePrix after stewards discovered di Grassi had worn underwear unapproved by safety regulations during the race.

The FIA stated that after a post-race investigation of di Grassi's safety gear, including his helmet, neck restraints, and clothing, it was discovered that his fire-resistant underwear was too short. di Grassi states that he wore noncompliant underwear because Urugay's heat had made him sweat so much that the rest of his pairs were uncomfortable.

“It was a mistake which was by my part, it should never happen, it was not something that I’m used to using," di Grassi told Motorsport, in regard to his illegal undergarments.

“It was a decision that I took today because of the extreme heat, and I ran out of underwear, and I didn’t want to use a wet one, so I just put a new one [sic]. We did all the safety that was required with the seatbelts, with the pitstops, everything that is actually really important for safety was done. And I didn’t think this underwear issue would be any issue. But of course I must be aware that I should wear compliance during a race.”

di Grassi was also given three penalty points on his race license, but he was allowed to keep his second-place finish.

Fireproof safety gear has become standard protection at almost every level of motorsport, from grassroots to international. Beyond underwear, peripheral fireproof clothing often includes gloves, balaclavas, shoes, and even socks, as some synthetic fibers can bond to skin in fires, making burn treatment difficult.

We undiestand the FIA's ruling on di Grassi's safety gear, and assume that his time with this set of drawers will be brief.