The Renault e.dams teams showed its fighting spirit in the Berlin ePrix run on the tarmac of the former Tempelhof airport. Sébastien Buemi, locked in battle for a podium finish throughout the race, finally saw the chequered flag in fourth place.
On this circuit, which has a very particular surface, the Renault e.dams team got down to work to find the best setups in free practice. Buemi was the fastest driver in the last two sectors so he tackled qualifying in an optimistic frame of mind. But the Swiss was unable to recapture the same feel for the car and he ended the session in seventh place. Pros too had to cope with a lack of grip and qualified in 19th spot.
Watched by Nico Rosberg, Mark Webber and David Coulthard the start was given in a highly-charged ambiance. In the first corner Sebastien took advantage of a mistake by Rosenqvist to move up a place. A few laps later he sliced past Jérôme d’Ambrosio and slotted into fifth. He began to push even harder and overtook Jean-Eric Vergne who muscled his way back in front a few laps later as the two cars made contact !
Thanks to the quickest car change of the whole field the Swiss got back in front of the Frenchman in the pits ! Prost was less fortunate in this phase of the race. He was blocked in his pit by traffic, which cost him over eight seconds and he lost the places he had gained on the track.
The second part of the race was just as exciting as Buemi and Vergne ate into the gap separating them from Turvey. Buemi got past the British driver and Vergne took advantage of this to slip though on the inside to claim third place while the Renault e.dams driver remained fourth. The closing laps of the race saw no changes among the leaders, while further back Prost moved up a place on every lap and took the chequered flag in 14th spot.
After the ninth round of the season Renault e.dams is still in sixth position in the teams’ championship with 89 points. In the drivers’ rating Buemi has moved down to fifth with 82 points and is now only four points outside a top-3 finish overall.
The next round of the FIA Formula E Championship will take place in Zurich on Sunday 10th June. This will be a historic event as it will be the first motor race held on a circuit in Switzerland since 1955 !
Nicolas Prost no. 8
“After the worst qualifying session of my career my car was excellent in the race. It only needed a little extra and I’d have finished in the points. The traffic during my pit stop cost me a lot of time, but there was not much else we could do. Although it’s still a difficult period I think this race showed that our motivation remains intact. We know that the car’s capable of scoring top-3 finishes so the situation could very quickly turn in our favour.”
Sébastien Buemi no. 9
“Today we weren’t in the same ballpark as the first two and I didn’t have enough pace to catch Jean-Eric (Vergne), especially at the end of the race. After finishing sixth in Rome and fifth in Paris we’ve moved up another place, but I’m not satisfied after having won so much in this championship. It’s difficult to accept, but scoring 12 points is not to be sneezed at ! We just have to be more focused than ever in the closing rounds of the season.”
Jean-Paul Driot, owner of the team
“Fourth place is always the most frustrating. On two occasions Seb managed to get past Jean-Eric. Even if he was repassed it shows that we’re capable of fighting with the leader of the championship on an equal footing with the same car. We’re now back at an acceptable level and I find that the whole team, drivers and engineers, are working in a more serene ambience. I think we’re on the right track.”
Vincent Gaillardot, director of the FE programme
“Over the last few races the whole team has done a huge amount of work to understand the parameters that are holding us up. We now see that we’re making progress as proved by Seb’s results, in particular the fact that he’s able to fight with Jean-Eric Vergne. There are still two areas in which we can improve that will help us to be more competitive and end the season on a high note and get back on to the podium.”