It all came down to the last lap of the last race. On the narrow confines of the Battersea Park track, Swiss racer Sebastien Buemi was tucked in behind Bruno Senna. To take the first Formula E drivers’ championship, Buemi simply needed to get past the Brazilian. One overtake for the title.
Senna had other ideas, however. He was closing in on his best finish of the season, which would help him retain his race seat. He would not be moved aside, regardless of how much Buemi harried and darted and pressed. As the finish line rushed up, Buemi’s championship rivals, di Grassi and Piquet, sat directly behind him. All he could hope for was that they would do something silly.
It didn’t happen. As the trio completed the race distance, Piquet won the championship by a single point. Buemi, who had dominated preseason testing with his searing pace and who had won three races – more than anyone else – could do nothing but watch.
“There are many places where we lost the championship, so I won’t point out one single event,” Buemi says, reflecting on a tumultuous season that brought agony as well as the sublime. “Altogether we had a very good package. The team did a good job in giving me a great car. There were so many moments that you could say were highlights. We will address the small mistakes.”
Buemi expects the show to improve in season two, with faster lap times resulting from a combination of improved powertrain efficiency, more power in race mode and driver familiarity with the tracks: “It’s not like in F1 or WEC where you have time to go and find the absolute limit. The race day goes so quickly in Formula E so there is some margin to improve. The racing will be quicker too because we have 20kW more.”
As far as a season two title tilt goes, the Swiss driver is looking no further than preparing for an error-free Beijing race. “This championship is all about discipline,” says Buemi. “There’s a lot of things you have to respect to stay in control, as a driver and as a team. If you do the basics right, you’ll do a good job. We did a great job but we can still do better.”
This is an excerpt from the October 2015 edition of the Current E magazine.