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Buemi angry with ‘disrespectful’ di Grassi after FE clash

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LONDON, UK – Fresh from his FIA Formula E championship victory on Sunday at Battersea Park, Sebastien Buemi made no secret of his annoyance with Lucas di Grassi following their clash on the first lap of the race.

Di Grassi hit the back of Buemi’s car at Turn 3 on the first lap, having been level on points heading into the race. Both managed to continue, switching cars to try and pick up the two bonus points on offer for setting the fastest lap.

Amid suspect tactics and accusations of blocking on hot laps, Buemi ultimately recorded the fastest time to score the two points needed – despite finishing 17 laps down in P15.

Although Buemi was pleased to have won the title, he conceded that it was not done in the manner that he would have liked.

“The most important thing in the end is that we won both championships,” Buemi said.

“I just came back from race direction. I had a look at the video and I am actually really sad. Firstly, to win it that way and second of all to see what Lucas did.

“He went between Nico and the wall and there was 5 cm. And when he braked, he had two options: either go to the right and nail the back of my car. He nailed it perfectly, but a little bit too strong because we both went out.

“I just came from race direction and he said I brake tested him. I was quite impressed he could actually say that. If you look at my braking, I braked very late.

“I think what he did is more than unacceptable. And then the fastest lap thing is the worst of the worst. We will never know if he did it on purpose or not, he will always say he didn’t do it on purpose, but then the fastest lap story, this of course he did on purpose.”

Buemi was particularly annoyed by the accusation from di Grassi that he braked 50 metres early at Turn 3.

“Of course you are always going to brake in a different way because the brakes are cold, the tires are cold and we don’t have any formation lap,” Buemi said.

“I had a look at the footage, what he said is actually disrespectful. First of all, he is lying and then he is trying to blame someone else.

“Honestly, I have zero respect for the guy. We will see what race direction says but I am very happy with what I have done, because I did the right thing.”

In the end, the stewards deemed di Grassi to have caused a collision, resulting in a 50-second post-race time penalty that had no bearing on his final position or the championship result.

Video highlights from Stage 12 of Dakar Rally, 2 stages remain

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Thursday’s Stage 12 of the 40th Dakar Rally not only closed the overall standings gap in at least two classes (cars and trucks), two other classes (bikes and quads) failed to get going due to weather conditions.

The full video highlights of Stage 12 will air on NBCSN on Friday at 7 pm ET, but here are some of the highlights from Thursday’s action:

CARS

2018 Dakar Rally: Nasser Al-Attiyah wins Stage 12 of cars

BIKES

 Stage 12 cancelled due to weather conditions

 

TRUCKS

Ton van Genugten edged out Martin Kolomy in Stage of, while Federico Villagra and Eduard Nikolaev both faced an uphill battle to finish fourth and third respectively.

QUADS

Even though the Quads were also impacted by weather issues on Thursday, Ignacio Casale, the 2014 Dakar winner, continues to make his case for a second overall victory in the quads.