image

HKT Hong Kong E-Prix

by SCMP

2017 FIA Formula E HKT Hong Kong E-Prix

Only the crown will do for Sebastien Buemi after ‘annoying’ Formula E season

The Renault e.dams driver moves on from the disappointment of falling short in 2016-17 after missing races because of the World Endurance Championship

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 November, 2017, 2:52pm
UPDATED : Friday, 01 December, 2017, 10:50am

Sebastien Buemi says he has shaken off the disappointment of a season which could well have seen the Swiss driver walk away as a double world champion.

The Renault e.dams driver was blitzing the field after eight rounds of the 2016-17 FIA Formula E Championship, having won six races and having established a 22-point lead over arch-rival Lucas di Grassi of Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler.

But then came the New York double-header, across a weekend the 29-year-old had already committed to racing with Toyota in the World Endurance Championship (WEC).

It was a case of no points gained, and an opportunity for his rivals to close the gap – as Di Grassi did before continuing on to take the title at the season-ending Montreal event.

Buemi finished the season in second place overall after enduring a disastrous final weekend that saw him disqualified from the first race and have his race ruined by a crash in the second. Still, you live and you learn, said Buemi.

Watch: get to know Sebastien Buemi

“The situation was very annoying,” he said. “And in the end we won the 6 Hours of Shanghai [race on November 5] so I finished second in the WEC championship.

“I finished second in the Formula E championship so of course I would have preferred finishing one on top at least. But I knew from the start that this clash could happen.

“All in all, I’m very happy we won the teams’ championship for the third time with Renault e.dams. I did my best but now it’s a part of the past and I am completely focused on what I have to do for season four. And there will be no more clashes in season four!”

Buemi has been a revelation across the three seasons of Formula E, finishing second in the series’ debut before being crowned champion in season two and then runner-up last time around.

He had spent three years with the Toro Rosso F1 outfit before capturing the WEC in 2014 for Toyota and then turning his attentions to the electric side of the sport.

“I really enjoy being part of this championship,” he said. “It’s completely different from what we are used to seeing in motorsport: driving in city centres, and a new format with all sessions within a day. As a driver, I really like being part of that.

Formula E champion Sebastien Buemi wins incident-packed maiden Hong Kong ePrix

“I won’t say that Formula E suits my style of driving, it’s just that we are a good team. [Renault e.dams] do an amazing job.

“The key to this championship is that you need to save a lot of energy and drive according to that. So the team managed to give me the good car and I managed to drive it well.”