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.

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

Chip Ganassi American Legion
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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.”