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Closed Circuit: Renault e.dams in Montreal

“We are the champions – but not necessarily happy” was surely the mantra of Renault e.dams following the Formula E season finale in Montreal. The team could secure its third teams’ title in a row, but Sebastien Buemi missed out on the drivers’ championship following a disappointing weekend.

THE TEAM

Saturday

Everything was to gain for the French Renault e.dams team when they travelled to Montreal. Nevertheless, Saturday commenced their black weekend as Sebastien Buemi destroyed one of his cars in Free Practice two. The team did their best to rebuild the car and managed to get it done in time for the race. Even though championship contender Buemi suffered from a ten-place grid penalty due to the repairs, he crossed the finish line in P4 following an impressive comeback race. Nevertheless, he was disqualified later on as his car was underweight. Teammate Nicolas Prost experienced a solid qualifying and a quiet race later on, collecting points for P6 following Buemi’s exclusion.

Sunday

Sunday continued even darker than Saturday ended, as Buemi only managed to qualify 14th after being unlucky with his qualifying conditions. Nicolas Prost meanwhile started from the pit lane and was not able to make his way up through the field in the race. Buemi looked like he had good chances to show another strong performance, yet a loose part in the early stages in the race cost him all chances of securing his second Formula E title.

Team mate comparison: qualifying
  • Sebastien Buemi
  • Nicolas Prost
  • Pierre Gasly

Team mate comparison: race
  • Sebastien Buemi
  • Nicolas Prost
  • Pierre Gasly

Saturday

“We had a tough day that ended with a disappointment with Sebastien’s disqualification. Our bad luck will continue tomorrow with the ten-grid place penalty for Nicolas. We had to change the engine due to a dysfunction of the battery. We hope that tomorrow, we will be a bit luckier to win both titles. We had to rebuild a car in a very short time so I would like to congratulate and thank the team for their investment today.”


Alain Prost, Co-owner of the team


“Above all, I want to thank the whole team for their hard work today. Despite Sébastien’s accident in Free Practice 2, he did a great race, and made a spectacular recovery. Obviously, we are very disappointed with the disqualification but we will fight until the end.”


Jean-Paul Driot, Co-owner of the team

Sunday

“I would like to congratulate Jean-Eric Vergne for his first victory in Formula E, as well as the other drivers, and also Lucas Di Grassi on winning the drivers’ championship. We thought we could win both titles today but it was not possible. The championship is getting more and more competitive at the highest level. We are very happy to win the teams’ championship for a third consecutive year. The show this weekend was amazing, we raced on one of the best tracks of the season. Everybody was so happy to be there. I would like to thank our partners for their support, in particular Renault. We will be back next year, for more success hopefully.”


Alain Prost, Co-owner of the team


“This weekend in Montreal was one of the most difficult weekends over my whole career as a team owner. But I would like to congratulate the whole team of mechanics for their incredible work this weekend, in allowing Sébastien to be able to take his chance to fight for the title, despite one of the most significant crashes in Formula E that we’ve seen over the three seasons. We are delighted to win the teams’ championship for the third time in a row. I hope that in the future, we won’t have any other clashes of dates with other championships, in order to maintain equality that will be respected.”


Jean-Paul Driot, Co-owner of the team


“When Renault entered Formula E in the beginning, it was always to win and to innovate. To win three titles in three seasons, is incredible. I would like to congratulate the whole team for their hard work over the season. Every year, the level gets higher but Renault, thanks to their skills in electric technologies, remains more than ever, the leader of the Formula E championship. We will be back next season to fight hard, to retain our title and to try to win both titles again.”


Jérôme Stoll, President of Renault Sport Racing

Championship standings
  • Renault e.dams

Sebastien Buemi

Saturday

The first day in Montreal was a tough one for Sebastien Buemi: after a heavy crash in the second free practice session, any hope for a good qualifying spot was out of the window as his car was too badly damaged. After a tough effort from the team to rebuild the second car for the race, he qualified in second, yet his ten-place grid penalty further demoted him to twelfth, whereas championship rival Lucas di Grassi (ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport) qualified on pole-position and closed the gap to just seven points. In the race, Buemi kept a cool head, but dropped a few positions after the start. Nevertheless, he was able to fight his way up through the field once again. When it came to the pit stop phase, the Swiss had a highly debated incident with Daniel Abt (ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport), but then made his way up to fourth behind Stephane Sarrazin (TECHEETAH), after the safety-car phase with whom he had a fantastic battle on the last lap to reach the chequered flag in fourth, after an impressive comeback drive. Following the post-race technical checks, Buemi’s second car that got rebuilt, was deemed to be underweight, thus disqualifying Buemi, to turn his seven-point advantage into a 18-point disadvantage as di Grassi won the race.

Sunday

Sunday was a new day for Buemi, knowing he had the pace to challenge for a solid result. Unfortunately, a mistake into turn one in qualifying, whilst being in the first group meant that he subsequently only qualified in fourteenth. At the start of the race, the Renault e.dams driver found himself being hit in the rear, with a part loose, that a few laps later he managed to get off. Nevertheless, race control ordered him to come into the pits for repairs which meant he was last with a major gap to teammate Nicolas Prost in P19. The Swiss managed to recover during the race, crossing the finish line in P11. Ultimately, he lost the title by 24 points making it the clearest title decision in Formula E history.

Sebastien Buemi: lap chart
  • Saturday
  • Sunday

Best time in FP1: 1:23.750 (P4)

Best time in FP2: 1:24.035 (P18)

Best time in qualifying: 1:23.053 (P2)

Best time in the race: 1:24.978 (lap 32)

Pit stop time and difference to minimum pit stop time: 57.204s (0.204s above minimum time)

Best time in FP3: 1:22.133 (P3)

Best time in FP4: 1:21.290 (P2)

Best time in qualifying: 1:23.372 (P14)

Best time in the race: 1:24.916 (lap 25)

Pit stop time and difference to minimum pit stop time: 1:00.030min (3.030s above minimum time)

“I am happy for the team, they really deserve this title. The car was amazing for the whole season. Unfortunately, it has not ended well for me but that’s racing and I have to accept it. We have to learn from our mistakes to come back stronger next year.”

Championship standings
  • Sebastien Buemi

Nicolas Prost

Saturday

Qualifying fifth, it was a fairly quiet race as Frenchman Nicolas Prost reached the chequered flag to finish in seventh, behind Daniel Abt (ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport) and Stephane Sarrazin (TECHEETAH) after switching positions with his team-mate Sebastien Buemi earlier on in the race. As the Swiss was ultimately disqualified for a technical infringement, Prost inherited P6.

Sunday

Following Saturday’s race, Nicolas Prost’s car caught fire, which meant that the team had to completely rebuild the car along with replacing the battery, which handed the Frenchman a twenty-place grid penalty. However, as he could not take the full penalty, he had to start from the pit lane with a ten-second penalty added onto the race result. Following a quiet and calm race, Prost did not manage to finish the race, or gain any positions. Nevertheless, he secured one point for setting the VISA fastest lap.

Nicolas Prost: lap chart
  • Saturday
  • Sunday

Best time in FP1: 1:23.783 (P5)

Best time in FP2: 1:22.180 (P1)

Best time in qualifying: 1:23.239 (P5)

Best time in the race: 1:24.760 (lap 32)

Pit stop time and difference to minimum pit stop time: 59.860s (2.860s above minimum time)

Best time in FP1: 1:21.840 (P2)

Best time in FP2: 1:21.962 (P10)

Best time in qualifying: 1:22.721 (P7)

Best time in the race: 1:23.444 (lap 28)

Pit stop time and difference to minimum pit stop time: 1:07.171min (10.171s above minimum time)

Saturday

“We had a good start of the day and a good qualifying. After that, we had several issues at the start of the race. During the first stint, we gained some good positions. It was still possible to do a good result before the safety car. However, when Seb passed me, I lost two positions. I am a little bit disappointed. We will fight hard tomorrow.”

Sunday

“It was not an easy year. I had difficulties in qualifying over the whole season. Ending the championship in sixth is not very satisfying. We leave Montreal with the team title, which was one of our objectives and we will try our best to come back stronger next season.”

Championship standings
  • Nicolas Prost

JORDAN PEACOCK | e-racing.net

Images courtesy of FIA Formula E Media

About Jordan Peacock
Jordan is a passionate and crazy motorsport fan turning his attention and dab hand to a bit of writing.
When there's not cars going around the track, or studying he spends his time listening to music and researching.