Sébastien Buemi succeeded in securing the Formula E season 2 title after a controversial crash in the first lap of the London finale, where he was touched by rival Lucas di Grassi. Both almost retired, but instead, rivalry continued on track in an attempt to set the fastest lap and therefore receiving two important points.
Buemi and di Grassi entered the final race held at Battersea Park tied in points, meaning that without scoring any points, the title would go to the Brazilian as he had scored one third place more than Buemi.
With Buemi starting from pole position and di Grassi in third, the ABT Schaeffler driver knew he had to pass Buemi’s team mate Nico Prost in order to attack Buemi for the win. He started aggressively and hit Buemi in the third corner, causing himself severe damage at the front of his car and his competitor continued without a rear wing.
Without having a chance to score any regular points, both drivers switched to their second electric race car in an attempt to set the fastest lap. Buemi was faster all weekend and therefore di Grassi knew it would be a tough nut to crack. At first di Grassi set the fastest lap, but when Buemi got a clear track near the end of the race, the Renault e.dams driver was no match for di Grassi and set the fastest lap; receiving two points and clinching the title.
Buemi didn’t expect to win the title this way and was angry on di Grassi’s move. “The most important thing is that we won both championships,” said Buemi. “I’m actually sad you know, to win it in that way, but also to see what Lucas did because I was very respectful of his driving, he’s been amazing. Like he’s said many times, his car is very bad and he is a very good driver, and if he was in my car he’d be at least half a second quicker!
“He’s a great driver, he did 24 hours in Le Mans, he never touched a car. He went between Nico and the wall, and I could tell you there was maybe five centimetres and once he braked, I just saw on the camera, he has two options – either go to the right or nail the back of my car and he nailed it perfectly. But a little bit too strong because we both went out.
“I’m a bit sad to see this because I think that was his only opportunity. In the end we had the quickest car, we were the best team. If we could’ve come out of this corner in front of him, we would’ve been far quicker.”
Di Grassi: “He braked to early”
Di Grassi didn’t agree with his rival, saying that he braked to early. “He braked about 50 metres earlier and while I fought with Prost, I then just realised that he [Buemi] braked to early. And then it was too late to keep the car under control and that caused the crash. We went through the data and for us the situation is very clear,” said di Grassi.
“Also with the stewards it became clear. I had a good start, I had to be aggressive to overtake Prost. That was my only chance to fight with Sebastien. But I didn’t expect this to happen. We should have fought the remaining 33 laps, but this is how it went.
“He should be proud on the title and maybe when he cools down he looks at the situation differently. He is a fighter, a good driver and he should be celebrating. It was a hard fight and these things happen. And sometimes you feel bad about it, that’s what I experienced yesterday with Jean-Eric Vergne, but these things happen and it should not affect a drivers’ relationship off the track. In my position he would have been aggressive too.”