Sebastien Buemi says he is not “losing energy” over this weekend’s Formula E title showdown with Lucas di Grassi, treating the event like any other.
Buemi heads into the Montreal double-header with a 10 point advantage over di Grassi at the head of the drivers’ championship, his lead being slashed when he missed the last two races in New York.
A war of words has been bubbling between Buemi and di Grassi heading into the race weekend. Buemi suggested that di Grassi could not risk his reputation again after their clash in London last year, with the Brazilian firing back by claiming his rival has a “problem” with pressure in an interview with Autosport.
Di Grassi also sent a not-so-subtle tweet from his Twitter account referencing Buemi’s comments, ramping up the rivalry heading into the weekend.
When a dog is barking, he is either afraid or unsettled.. good.
— LUCAS DI GRASSI (@LucasdiGrassi) July 21, 2017
Heading into the Montreal weekend, Buemi stressed that he is only focusing on himself this weekend in order to complete his title defence and keep di Grassi at bay.
“If you speak about last year, of course, I’m disappointed with what he did last year and the fact he tried to blame me and all those kind of things. Now it’s a new year and a different situation,” Buemi told Current E.
“I’m going to focus on my job and try to do a good race. Like I said many times, I try to focus more on me instead of focusing on him and what happens if I do this and he does that.
“I try to focus only on my job because I know if I do it well, most of the time I’m up there. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be up there if we’re going a good job.
“I tried to focus on that more instead of losing energy on listening or hearing what he says anyway.”
Buemi admitted to feeling a certain sense of relief that his points advantage still exists despite missing New York, saying it was “so hard” to miss the double-header weekend.
“I’m a bit relieved now that New York is behind. I was under big pressure before New York, having in mind I need to score points, I need to have more points, more points because I’m going to lose points,” Buemi said.
“Then getting disqualified in Berlin was obviously quite hard. I would have loved to not lose those points, because it would have been a bit of a better margin now. I’m just happy to be here and still have a chance to fight for the championship.
“More than in the past, I try to enjoy simply the fact that we can fight for the championship. I quite like that. Normally you put yourself under pressure. Just enjoying the moment, enjoying the fact that we are in a position to fight where most of the drivers are not anymore.”