Sebastien Buemi has been handed a five-place grid penalty for Saturday’s Formula E race in Marrakesh after his fire extinguisher was found to be underweight during qualifying.
Defending Formula E champion Buemi qualified second in Marrakesh on Saturday behind Mahindra driver Felix Rosenqvist, reaching the Super Pole shootout for Renault e.dams.
However, Buemi will now drop to seventh on the grid after the scrutineers found the fire extinguisher in his car to be underweight, breaching the FIA technical regulations by dipping below the required weight of 3.25kg.
Buemi’s demotion promotes Sam Bird onto the front row of the grid, as well as lifting Nelson Piquet Jr., Jean-Eric Vergne, Daniel Abt and Nicolas Prost up one place for the start.
Buemi kicked off his championship defence in fashion by winning last month’s Hong Kong ePrix, and will be looking to fight back from this grid drop to close out the 2016 calendar year with another victory.
Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.
Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.