sebastien buemi

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Buemi disqualified from Montreal Formula E opener

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MONTREAL, Canada – Sebastien Buemi has been disqualified from the opening race of the Montreal Formula E weekend after his car was found to be underweight.

Buemi suffered a sizeable crash during second practice in Montreal, giving his Renault e.dams team a significant repair job to complete in time for the race.

The team was able to get the car fixed in time, allowing Buemi to provisionally finish fourth and sit six points shy of race winner Lucas di Grassi in the points standings heading into Sunday’s season finale.

However, the FIA stewards found after the race that Buemi’s car was underweight, and despite fully considering the circumstances of its rebuild, opted to disqualify the Swiss racer.

“The stewards note that this car was in large part destroyed in an accident during practice two. The team used a new monocoque, battery pack and gearbox as well as many other new parts,” a statement reads.

“There was reportedly insufficient time to weight the car after the rebuild and before the race, even though the weighing platform schedule had been increased by 30 minutes the technical delegate.

“The team reportedly added 4 kg additional ballast to compensate for any weight variation in the rebuilt car.”

Renault e.dams will not be appealing the decision, meaning the race result is now official.

Buemi will therefore head into Sunday’s season finale trailing di Grassi by 18 points with 29 available.

Di Grassi takes Montreal Formula E win as pressure tolls for Buemi

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MONTREAL, Canada – Lucas di Grassi moved into the lead of the Formula E drivers’ championship for the first time this season by going wire-to-wire in Montreal on Saturday as the pressure tolled on rival Sebastien Buemi.

Di Grassi delivered a near-perfect weekend, taking pole and leading every lap en route to victory to pull six points clear of Buemi in the standings.

Buemi was forced to start 12th on the grid after a battery change triggered a penalty, and fell back to 17th off the start.

The Swiss driver rose back up the order through the race, although not without getting caught up in incidents with Robin Frijns, Daniel Abt and Stephane Sarrazin, the latter fending him off to complete the podium.

Di Grassi faced late pressure from Jean-Eric Vergne after a safety car period bunched the pack, but was able to hold on and pick up his second victory of the season, hailing it as the best race of his Formula E career.

Di Grassi moved on to 175 points for the season with victory, leaving Buemi six points back on 169 with 29 up for grabs in Sunday’s championship finale.

Abt finished close behind Buemi in fifth ahead of Sam Bird, who battled his way from 18th on the grid to take sixth place for DS Virgin Racing.

Nicolas Prost wound up seventh for Renault e.dams ahead of Jaguar’s Mitch Evans, while Frijns survived his fracas with Buemi to take ninth. Felix Rosenqvist picked up the final point on offer in P10, having dropped back when running fourth due to damage on his car.

Momentum swings in FE title race as di Grassi takes Montreal pole

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MONTREAL, Canada – The momentum in the Formula E championship battle took a huge swing in Lucas di Grassi’s favor on Saturday in Montreal as the Brazilian swept to his second pole position in the all-electric series.

Di Grassi arrived in Montreal trailing long-running rival Sebastien Buemi by 10 points in the drivers’ championship, but was able to reduce the gap by three with pole and the resultant bonus score.

The sweetest success for di Grassi was not of his own design, though. Trying to find the limit of a hot lap during practice, Buemi pushed too hard, crashing hard into the wall at the chicane and causing a significant amount of damage to his car.

A new battery had to be fitted by the Renault e.dams crew, triggering a 10-place grid drop that means Buemi will start the race 12th, having originally trailed di Grassi by just two-tenths of a second.

Stephane Sarrazin will join di Grassi on the front row after an impressive run for Techeetah, while Buemi’s teammate, Nicolas Prost, is set to start in third place – directly behind di Grassi.

Di Grassi may get some assistance from his ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport teammate Daniel Abt, though, given the German will start ahead of Buemi in 11th.

Felix Rosenqvist will start P4 for Mahindra ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne, while Jaguar racers Mitch Evans and Adam Carroll picked up the team’s best qualifying result of the year to secure P6 and P7 on the grid.

Oliver Turvey will start eighth for NextEV, while Tom Dillmann and Loic Duval will complete the top 10 for the start in Montreal.

Buemi’s FE points lead intact despite New York no-show

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RED HOOK, NY – Sebastien Buemi will head into the final double-header round of the third FIA Formula E season with his points lead intact despite missing last weekend’s races in New York City.

Defending Formula E champion Buemi was forced to skip the inaugural New York City ePrix due to his clashing commitments with Toyota’s LMP1 team in the FIA World Endurance Championship at the Nürburgring.

Despite late attempts from Buemi and his Renault e.dams team to try and take some part in the New York weekend, Toyota refused to budge, giving title rival Lucas di Grassi two races to try and cut down the 32-point gap.

Di Grassi struggled through qualifying, starting P10 on Saturday and P9 on Sunday, but was able to battle back through to fourth and fifth in the respective races.

Leaving New York with a haul of 22 points, di Grassi sits 10 back from Buemi in the drivers’ championship with two races remaining, but the Brazilian nevertheless feels good about his chances.

“I think 22 points, I’m not disappointed with it. We have to improve a lot if we want to win in Montreal,” di Grassi said.

“I feel more confident than ever. With the experience that I have with Formula E, you know that it can go from hell to heaven any weekend, any race. We just have to do our best, try and win both races and see how it goes.

“It will be difficult, but nevertheless, we’re going to try very hard. The championship is in my hands. If I win both races, I am champion – no mathematics to be done. To win both races, that’s the aim. Let’s see how it goes.”

Buemi’s race at the Nürburgring seemed to be over before it had begun when he suffered a fuel pump issue on the formation lap, forcing Toyota into a lengthy repair of its TS050 Hybrid car.

Alongside Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima, Buemi was able to battle his way back to fourth place, trailing the three other LMP1 hybrids.

Gasly confirmed as Buemi’s replacement for Formula E in NYC

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Pierre Gasly will make his FIA Formula E Championship debut this weekend in the New York City ePrix after being confirmed to replace championship leader Sebastien Buemi, who will be on full FIA World Endurance Championship duty at the 6 Hours of the Nürburgring.

Gasly will step into Buemi’s Renault e.dams entry but only following a late arrival into New York following Red Bull simulator work. Apparent efforts to have gotten Buemi to only have to miss one of the two rounds of the NYC doubleheader have failed, and the Swiss driver will be in his usual Toyota TS050 Hybrid alongside Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima.

Although Gasly isn’t in a Formula 1 race seat this year he’s still been plenty busy in his Red Bull test role and with racing Super Formula in Japan, same as Felix Rosenqvist is.

No quotes were issued from Gasly in advance of the weekend but Renault e.dams principals Alain Prost and Jean-Paul Driot were less than thrilled at the much discussed weekend clash between the two championships.

“I deeply regret this clash between the WEC and Formula E which could have been avoided,” Prost said. “However, we have to move forward and we are very pleased to welcome Pierre Gasly. Racing in New York is going to be a challenge as he makes his Formula E debut at the end of the championship.”

Driot added, “This situation is regrettable because even without this clash, the championship is not a certainty. Despite this unfortunate setback, I hope that with Pierre Gasly’s invaluable assistance, Renault e.dams will be able to defend its winning chances in Montreal.”

Buemi holds a 32-point lead over Lucas di Grassi heading into the weekend with a maximum 58 points possible during the pair of races (157-125). Rosenqvist, who’s third in points, is outside that gap to overtake on only 86 points scored, 71 back of Buemi.

In the team’s championship, Renault e.dams holds – fittingly – a 58-point lead over ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport, 229-171.