Buemi dodges another bullet to extend FE championship lead in Mexico

© FIA Formula E

Sebastien Buemi recovered from a mistake in qualifying and a frustrating race in Mexico on Saturday to extend his Formula E championship lead after Lucas di Grassi’s disqualification.

Buemi made an error in qualifying for the third race in a row, locking up in the second sector of his Super Pole lap to resign himself to fifth place on the grid for the start.

The Swiss driver worked his way up to third after the leaders had swapped their cars, but spent the remainder of the race getting frustrated behind Jerome d’Ambrosio.

The two drivers made contact and made their anger known over the radio, with d’Ambrosio eventually winning the race to the finish line for second place.

Despite initially losing the lead of the championship to race winner di Grassi, Buemi in fact extended his advantage when the Brazilian driver was disqualified for racing with an underweight car.

This promoted Buemi up into second place behind d’Ambrosio, leaving his advantage over the chasing pack at 22 points ahead of the Long Beach ePrix in three weeks’ time.

“Whilst I don’t think we got the set-up quite right at this track, the final result has worked in our favor,” Buemi said.

“The track layout made it very difficult to overtake and, obviously, I had some issues when fighting with Jerome but, this is racing and sometimes it’s frustrating!

“But overall, I am pleased that we have maintained the lead in the championship.”

Renault e.dams senior team manager Jean-Paul Driot confirmed that Buemi had suffered a braking issue in qualifying, but was pleased with the team result as Nicolas Prost finished third overall.

“It seems that a small braking issue cost us the win today, which we will have to look into, but both Sebastien and Nico fought very hard during the race,” Driot said.

“But second and third, plus a fastest lap for Nico, means we have cemented our position as championship leaders.

“We will analyze the issues we had and improve to be more motivated than ever for Long Beach.”

Ganassi announces multiyear sponsorship extension with American Legion for No. 10

Chip Ganassi American Legion
David Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Chip Ganassi Racing announced a new primary sponsorship deal with The American Legion this week, shoring up the funding on its No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Alex Palou.

The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion primarily had driven with NTT Data sponsorship the past two seasons. But NTT Data will move next season to McLaren Racing as a primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist in 10 races and on the Indy 500 car of Tony Kanaan (who drove an American Legion car for Ganassi at the Brickyard last year).

It was the latest twist in a McLaren-Ganassi saga that included a contract dispute for the services of Palou (who is expected to move to McLaren in 2024 after reaching an agreement to race with Ganassi next year).

Ganassi stayed within its own walls to help plug the sponsorship gap left by NTT Data, re-signing The American Legion to a multiyear extension. The Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, which has been sponsoring Ganassi cars for the past few seasons, also will be associated with other Ganassi drivers, including Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and development driver Kyffin Simpson in Indy NXT.

The Ganassi organization will continue promoting The American Legion’s “Be The One” campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicides. The team launched an online auction for the initiative this week.

“Supporting our nation’s veterans is of immense importance to our organization and we are humbled to continue supporting The American Legion’s mission in ending veteran suicide,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “We will do absolutely everything we can to help veterans get the support they need while raising public awareness of the ‘Be The One’ platform.”

“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from fans, active-duty military members and veterans as a result of this partnership and we’re pleased to see it grow,” said Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer at The American Legion. “Thanks to the continuous collaboration with the team’s other partners, and the promotion of the ‘Be The One’ initiative, we are discovering more ways to engage with the military community than ever before. We want all veterans to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”