Sebastien Buemi is the 2015/16 FIA Formula E world champion, after a dramatic season finale at the London ePrix today. The Le Mans driver started the race with the driver’s title only 33 laps away, but he was not the only one as Lucas di Grassi had the same points and only the best driver was bound to win.
London ePrix Results 2016
1. Nicolas Prost – Renault
2. Daniel Abt – ABT
3. Jerome d’Ambrosio – Venturi
4. Loic Duval – Venturi
5. Stephane Sarrazin – Venturi
6. Bruno Senna – Mahindra
7. Nick Heidfeld – Mahindra
8. Jean-Eric Vergne – Virgin
9. Nelson Piquet Jr. – NEXTEV TCR
10. Oliver Turvey – NEXTEV TCR
This changed almost immediately after the start of the race, when Di Grassi plunged into Buemi’s Renault as they both approached turn 3. The race was ‘over’ for both of them, but as it turned out, they had one last shot at the title which would be decided by the fastest lap between the two. Buemi limped to the pits followed by Di Grassi in his ABT car, all they had to was wait for the perfect moment to set the best lap.
Photos by Rajan Jangda
In the meantime, Nicolas Prost was untouched by the lap 1 incident, instead, the Renault driver claimed the lead and began building a gap over his rivals. He won the first race yesterday, and did the same today despite all the unfolding drama. Daniel Abt finished second while Jerome d’Ambrosio settled for third in his Mahindra, though this was after some post race penalties took effect.
Besides Buemi and Di Grassi, there were several other drivers who never saw the chequered flag. Sam Bird lost power on lap 7 and had to go into early retirement, he was followed by Simona de Silvestro, Robin Frijns and Mike Conway. Jean-Eric Vergne, Nick Heidfeld, and Antonio Felix da Costa finished the race with 0% power in their cars, their penalties resulted to changes on the final results including the promotion of d’Ambrosio to third.
Back to the title fight between Buemi and Di Grassi, the latter was the first to make a run for the fastest lap and he put down an impressive 1m27.037s which was trimmed down by Buemi to 1m26.056s. The Renault driver later set an even faster 1m24.582s lap which secured him the championship title.
It was an emotional win for Buemi who came from Le Mans with a heavy heart, after losing the lead of the 24 hour race just 3 minutes to the end in his Toyota TS050 Hybrid. London ePrix put an end to his bad luck despite the manner in which he won the title.
Speaking after the race, Buemi said he has lost respect for Di Grassi who claimed that he only crashed because Buemi braked earlier than normal.
“Honestly, I have zero respect for this guy, so now we’ll see what the race direction says – but I’m very happy with what I’ve done, because I’ve done the right thing. What he said is actually disrespectful because first of all he is lying and second of all he made a huge mistake and he is trying to blame someone else.” said Buemi.