MONTREAL, Canada – Sebastien Buemi has been disqualified from the opening race of the Montreal Formula E weekend after his car was found to be underweight.
Buemi suffered a sizeable crash during second practice in Montreal, giving his Renault e.dams team a significant repair job to complete in time for the race.
The team was able to get the car fixed in time, allowing Buemi to provisionally finish fourth and sit six points shy of race winner Lucas di Grassi in the points standings heading into Sunday’s season finale.
However, the FIA stewards found after the race that Buemi’s car was underweight, and despite fully considering the circumstances of its rebuild, opted to disqualify the Swiss racer.
“The stewards note that this car was in large part destroyed in an accident during practice two. The team used a new monocoque, battery pack and gearbox as well as many other new parts,” a statement reads.
“There was reportedly insufficient time to weight the car after the rebuild and before the race, even though the weighing platform schedule had been increased by 30 minutes the technical delegate.
“The team reportedly added 4 kg additional ballast to compensate for any weight variation in the rebuilt car.”
Renault e.dams will not be appealing the decision, meaning the race result is now official.
Buemi will therefore head into Sunday’s season finale trailing di Grassi by 18 points with 29 available.
COFFS HARBOUR, Australia (AP) Defending champion Sebastien Ogier goes into this weekend’s Rally Australia with a chance to clinch his sixth World Rally Championship in a row. Thierry Neuville, a runner-up four times but never a champion, hopes to change the world order.
Neuville led the series for much of the season but Ogier’s win in Britain and a second place in Spain has given the Frenchman 204 points, three ahead of Neuville, heading into the final rally of the championship.
“We are not the best friends but we are rivals and respect each other for our performances,” Neuville said Wednesday. “I’ve been second many times in the championship now, we are so close to the main goal.”
“If we need to take more risks because we need to pass Sebastien we’re going to try,” the Belgian driver added, “we’ll take the maximum risks.”
Ogier says the feeling is mutual when it comes to his main rival.
“We are different, definitely, but most important we’re in a great fight together and respect each other for that,” Ogier said. “It’s about trying to beat each other and do it with respect.”
Ott Tanak of Estonia sits 23 points behind and with 30 points for a win in Australia, and other results going his way, he could also capture the world title.
Ogier will be hoping for some Friday morning rain to settle the dust and gravel before he sets off first on what will be more than 300 kilometers (180 miles) of timed racing through forests on the New South Wales state’s north coast, about 530 kilometers (325 miles) north of Sydney.
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