Renault e.dams hopes of drafting in Scott Speed to replace Sebastien Buemi for next month’s New York double header have been dealt a blow.
The French team contacted Andretti Autosport over the possibility of reigning Red Bull Global Rallycross champion Speed taking Buemi’s place, with the Swiss driver set to take part in the Nurburgring WEC round for Toyota on the same weekend instead.
However, the request was denied by Andretti, despite the fact there is no clash with the Red Bull GRC calendar that weekend.
“We were talking to Scott Speed but Andretti refused to release him,” Renault e.dams boss Jean-Paul Driot told Autosport.com. “We have asked the question and we were given a no.”
“It would have been a really good solution as he has done almost one season and he is American but it couldn’t happen.”
It could be due to the American’s links with Volkswagen, although this hasn’t yet been confirmed officially.
Speed drives a factory-backed Volkswagen Beetle in Red Bull GRC. Since joining Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross in 2014, every non-GRC event Speed has participated in has been with a Volkswagen Group brand – Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America, Audi Sport TT Cup, and the VW Fun Cup. Meanwhile the Volkswagen Group is represented in Formula E by ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport.
It would not have been Speed’s first Formula E outing. The former NASCAR driver raced in the series part-time during its maiden season, finishing second on his début in Miami. He was also one of the first drivers to test for Andretti Autosport at Donington Park in 2014.