Formula E Notes: Sebastien Buemi, Nicolas Prost in at e.dams-Renault (VIDEO)

Leave a comment

More than two decades ago, the Formula One world was captivated by the legendary battles between Alain Prost and the late Ayrton Senna. Now, Prost’s son and Senna’s nephew will be going head-to-head in Formula E.

Today, French squad e.dams-Renault (co-owned by Alain and Jean-Paul Driot) announced that World Endurance Championship drivers Sebastien Buemi and Nicolas Prost will suit up for their side in the inaugural F-E championship that begins in September.

The addition of Nicolas to the F-E grid ensures a “Prost vs. Senna” revival, as Bruno Senna is set to drive at Mahindra Racing.

Former Toro Rosso F1 racer Buemi remains involved in that world as the current tester and reserve driver for four-time defending World Champion Red Bull.

As for Nicolas, he has past open-wheel experience as a tester for Lotus F1 and a racer in multiple leagues such as Spanish Formula 3, Euroseries 3000, and A1GP.

Said Driot in a Renault statement: “We have recruited two very talented drivers for this exciting new challenge. In addition to his driving skills, Nicolas Prost will bring his ability to think outside of the box to the table, as well as his technical background and his ability to analyze the technical aspects of this all-electric formula.

“Sébastien Buemi will bring his reputation and speed, along with the fact that he is extremely popular with the public and motor racing fans.”

Also making a driver announcement today was Jarno Trulli’s TrulliGP team, which has now paired Italian driver Michaela Cerruti with the longtime F1 veteran.

Cerruti becomes the second female driver on the F-E grid, joining Amlin Aguri’s Katherine Legge. She currently competes in both the AutoGP open-wheel series (where she won this past month at Imola) and in the Blancpain Endurance Series.

“Michela is a very talented driver with a natural skill,” Trulli said of his new teammate in a statement. “I was impressed by her recent results considering the very limited time she has spent in single-seaters.

“I’m extremely happy to share my long Formula 1 experience with Michela to make our team successful.  I’m convinced that Michela is an up and coming star, the one to watch for this season and the future.”

Adding to the busy Monday around F-E was the confirmation of Battersea Park in South London, England as the site for the London ePrix, which will serve as the 2014-2015 season finale on June 27, 2015.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said that the ePrix would “provide an awesome addition to the capital’s sporting calendar.”

“…Hosting the championship final of this all-electric race is a fantastic feather in our city’s sporting cap,” he added. “It shows that there is great confidence in London’s ability to stage the biggest and the best global sporting events, which play such an important role in boosting our economy and our international reputation.”

As part of the announcement, a fleet of Spark-Renault machines took to the city’s Westminster Bridge. You can check out the demonstration below:

Sergio Perez still has coronavirus; will miss second consecutive F1 race

F1 Sergio Perez out
Laurent Charniaux/Pool via Getty Images
Leave a comment

SILVERSTONE, England — Sergio Perez will be out for a second F1 race at Silverstone this week after again testing positive for the coronavirus.

The Mexican driver had hoped to return to Formula One after spending seven days in quarantine, but his Racing Point team said this morning he had tested positive.

“He is physically well and recovering,” the team said. “The whole team wishes Sergio and his family well and we look forward to his return.”

That means German veteran Nico Hulkenberg again fills in for Sunday’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix after having also replaced Sergio Perez when he was out for the F1 British Grand Prix at the same venue last week. Hulkenberg did not start that race because of an engine problem.

There are two consecutive weekends of racing at Silverstone as Formula One tries to pack in races following the pandemic-delayed start to the season.

Perez became the first Formula One driver to test positive for coronavirus, and it had been unclear whether he would be available to drive after the period of quarantine was extended to 10 days.

Racing Point also was in the news Friday after being hit with a 15-point penalty in the Formula One constructors’ championship and fined 400,000 euros ($470,000) Friday for using brake ducts based on those from last year’s Mercedes cars.

The stewards ruled that Mercedes was the “principal designer” of the parts, and that Racing Point made only minor changes to computer design data it received from Mercedes.

Rival team Renault filed protests about the legality of the brake ducts, which were added to the “listed parts” under F1 rules for 2020. That means teams must design their own. Racing Point argued it was merely using information about the Mercedes parts to inform its own design.

Racing Point uses customer engines from Mercedes and has admitted basing its 2020 car design on photographs of last year’s Mercedes car. The similarities led to the Racing Point being nicknamed the “pink Mercedes” when it was first seen in testing ahead of the season.

Racing Point can appeal the ruling. The points deduction drops the team from fifth to sixth in the standings, below Renault. The ruling doesn’t affect the points totals for Racing Point’s drivers.