Formula E’s Sebastien Buemi was among the FIA champions honoured at the governing body’s end-of-season prize-giving gala in Vienna, Austria on Friday.
Buemi clinched the second Formula E drivers’ title in a nail-biting decider at Battersea Park in London back in July this year, edging out Lucas di Grassi in one of the more bizarre conclusions to a racing championship.
Tied on points, a first-corner clash between the title fighters (with debate still not settled as to whether the incident was deliberate) boiled the race down to a game of cat-and-mouse, as they both looked to score the two bonus points available for the fastest lap. Buemi prevailed, taking the second season crown by so doing.
The Swiss driver spoke about the season finale when receiving his FIA award for winning the Formula E title. “That’s part of racing,” he said. “Obviously I was not hoping to win it that way, let’s put it like that. But I’m really happy we did it. Last year I lost by one point, so there was a lot of pressure, especially in the week following Le Mans when we broke down on the last lap [with the Toyota team]. To be honest, the morning of London I was really under pressure because I thought I can’t lose again, but sometimes things come your way, sometimes not.”
Buemi has since made a scintillating start to the third Formula E season, winning the opening two races in Hong Kong and Marrakech for Renault e.dams to put himself in a strong position early in the campaign.
“We’ve had a lot of good news in Formula E,” Buemi said. “It’s looking good. The first few races were good for us. Let’s hope we can continue like that because it might get a little bit more difficult later in the season.”
Renault e.dams boss Jean-Paul Driot was also on-hand in Vienna to receive an award for winning the teams’ championship, while DS Virgin Racing’s new signing Jose Maria Lopez picked up his trophy for the World Touring Car Championship, making it a profitable night for the Formula E paddock.