BREAKING: Reigning champ Vergne dropped to back of the grid

More trouble for the ABB FIA Formula E reigning champ as DS Techeetah driver Jean-Eric Vergne receives a 20-place grid penalty after a battery change ahead of the final race in Diriyah. 

Following DS Techeetah driver Jean-Eric Vergne's collision with the wall in Practice this morning, the reigning champ's chances of a podium in Saudi Arabia fell of a cliff after he was handed a 20-place grid penalty ahead of the race. 

Earlier in the day, the Frenchman limped back to the pits with a broken axle, where his battery was switch for a replacement pack. The change is in breach of the FIA regulations, handing him a 20-place grid drop as well as a stop and go time penalty (considering he can't drop 20 places after Qualifying in 10th), just hours before the final race of the season opener in Diriyah. After a miserable first race, which led to an early retirement for Vergne, the champs hopes of securing a hattrick championship title are off to a dismal start. 

Vergne will start from the back of the pack after Qualifying in 10th, when the race starts at 3:00pm local time.