A weekend to prove to the world why Renault e.DAMS was the dominant force in the Formula E championship, as Nicolas Prost saw no opponents in his two wins at the London ePrix, while tactics played well for Sébastien Buemi to help him to become the second champion in the competition history.
The Saturday race started without any problems, with Nico Prost holding his lead against Bruno Senna, and given the tight nature of the circuit, only some brave drivers like Sébastien Buemi were able to do something to overtake. He and Lucas di Grassi were able to make some overtakes as championship rivals, but they couldn’t take many risks in order to keep a title bid.
The whole situation was on favor of di Grassi, as he was seventh with Buemi being strictly controlled by Daniel Abt in ninth. If Buemi couldn’t imagine the situation being worse, di Grassi passed Sam Bird and became the sixth. Buemi replied in the same level, passing Daniel Abt and becoming seventh. This kept going until di Grassi get stuck into fifth place.
Things weren’t going right for the ABT Audi drivers, as Daniel Abt was sent to the wall by Robin Frijns, and the Dutch driver was still lucky enough to barely avoid the bouncing car as Abt crossed from a side to another of the track. In the urge of defending himself from Buemi, di Grassi got too physical with Jean-Eric Vergné on Lap 24, breaking part of the front wing of his car, although not compromising his performance.
The Brazilian was able to breathe a bit when Sam Bird passed Buemi, and to not risk any more, the Swiss driver kept behind him, only to be promoted due to Bird’s excessive use of energy. More in front of the championship battle, Prost dominated without question, with good margin to Bruno Senna and Vergné.
London ePrix – Race 1 results
The front row lock of the Sunday race in favor of Renault e.DAMS would be a huge problem for Lucas di Grassi as after the Race 2 qualifying both him and polesitter Buemi were tied on points, and so it was until the third corner, when the Brazilian collided with Buemi, destroying the wheel of his car and the back wing of the other one. Di Grassi returned when the green flag was back, getting the qualifying car to try a good lap at least, while Buemi was forced to pit to deal with the missing wing.
The race itself resumed with Nicolas Prost in the lead and Nick Heidfeld behind. On Lap 7 another yellow flag took place at Battersea Park as Sam Bird reported total loss of power, and on Lap 10 the race was resumed again, and in a quest for a fast lap, Buemi returned to track on Lap 12, only to get slowed down by another Safety Car on Lap 13, as Andretti driver Robin Frijns was compressed by Loïc Duval in the barriers, destroying a wheel of his car.
While Prost was racing on his own, Heidfeld was defending himself from Abt, who wasn’t only eager to attack but also was with a lot of other cars behind him. Tired of waiting, Abt just passed Heidfeld on Lap 17, almost bringing Jean-Eric Vergné with him, an overtake that in fact happened after the pit stops. At this moment, the qualify lap championship between di Grassi and Buemi was in favor of the Swiss driver, not only because his 1:24.5 time, but also because di Grassi’s best time was deleted.
In the final laps di Grassi was still in the hunt to beat Buemi’s lap time, but on Lap 30 he misses it by less than a tenth of a second. After that and with Buemi improving his lap, Nico Prost cruised to the finish line, di Grassi conceded defeat and Buemi became the 2015/2016 Formula E champion, with Daniel Abt in second and Vergné completing the podium.
London ePrix – Race results
Along with the drivers’ title, Renault e.DAMS also put their hands in the teams’ title, defeating ABT Audi, scoring 270 points against 221 of the German team.
PHOTOS: Renault e.DAMS, FIA Formula E