Davidson and Buemi jubilant after FIA WEC title win

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Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi have made no secret of their happiness after winning the FIA World Endurance Championship drivers’ title in Bahrain yesterday.

Despite finishing only 10th in the 6 Hours of Bahrain at Sakhir, Davidson and Buemi were both crowned champions after the Audi #2 car of Benoit Treluyer, Andre Lotterer and Marcel Fassler could only finish fourth, giving the Toyota drivers an unassailable lead ahead of the final race of the season.

“It’s been an amazing year,” Davidson said. “For me personally this is the biggest achievement in my career by a long way so it is a big day. I have never been a World Champion before so this means a lot and it still hasn’t really sunk in yet.

“The team did an amazing job and have given us the fastest car. It wasn’t exactly the way we wanted to win the title but I’m not complaining. Big thanks to the mechanics today for getting the car out on track again, not only the #8 guys but also the crew from #7 who helped out. This championship has been a real team effort and I’m so grateful to everyone who has made it happen. It’s a great day but there is still one more job to do in Brazil: win the manufacturers’ World Championship.”

Davidson’s co-pilot, Sebastien Buemi, was equally elated in the wake of their title win.

“I am really pleased, it’s a great feeling to win the World Championship,” the Frenchman said. “It’s not the way we wanted to get it but we are really happy. To win a championship when you are competing against Porsche and Audi is a fantastic achievement. We had the car to win the race but I’m happy #7 won. Thanks to the team because to win a championship you need a great car and that’s what they gave us.

“Even if it is the drivers’ World Championship, it is really a title for the team because without everyone here at the track, back at Cologne and in Higashifuji, Anthony and I would not be here today. If we can make sure we win the manufacturers’ championship in Brazil it will be a fantastic year.”

For both drivers, this title victory proves that there is indeed life after Formula 1. Neither driver enjoyed the most notable F1 career, and were perhaps sold short by the circumstances under which they raced.

However, in the WEC, they have firmly established themselves as world beaters – something that would have been impossible for them in F1.

The race at the Bahrain International Circuit was eventually won by the sister #7 Toyota, leading home the two Porsche cars.

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing
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Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.