Di Grassi step closer to title after Buemi disqualification


Buemi's hastily prepared car leaves the pits. Credit: Formula E

Lucas di Grassi is a step closer to his first ever Formula E title after his title rival Sebastien Buemi was disqualified from the first round of the Montreal ePrix.

Buemi’s second race car was found to be three kilos underweight after the team were forced to rebuild it following a heavy crash in second practice.

The signs of the hasty repairs were evident as part of the monocoque was not in team colours, and without enough time to weigh the car before lights out the team added on an additional four kilos of ballast.

But even that proved not to be enough, and stewards were forced to disqualify Buemi from the race results.

It means he loses the twelve points he’s gained for fourth place, which gives di Grassi a near unassailable eighteen point lead.

Speaking about what happened afterwards, team boss of Renault e.dams Jean-Paul Driot told Autosport, “We couldn’t weigh the car, we didn’t have the time so we added four kilos with three kilos of margin, so seven kilos in total and apparently the car is minus three, so it is ten kilos difference.

“We just cannot understand this.”

It was more bad news for the French squad as Buemi won’t have the help of his team-mate Nico Prost at the sharp end of the grid tomorrow.

The Frenchman’s car caught fire after the race, with the team forced to change his powertrain and incurring a ten place grid penalty.

The Frenchman’s father and co-owner of the team Alain Prost said afterwards that he was hoping to see the team’s luck turn around today.

He said, “We had a tough day that ended with a disappointment with Sebastien’s disqualification.

“Our bad luck will continue tomorrow with the ten-grid place penalty for Nicolas. We had to change the engine due to a dysfunction of the battery.

“We hope that tomorrow, we will be a bit luckier to win both titles. We had to rebuild a car in a very short time so I would like to congratulate and thank the team for their investment today.”

POSDRIVERNATTEAMPOINTS
1Lucas di GrassiBRAAbt Schaeffler Audi175
2Sebastien BuemiSUIRenault e.dams157
3Sam BirdGBRDS Virgin Racing110
4Felix RosenqvistSWEMahindra Racing106
5Jean-Eric VergneFRATecheetah92
6Nico ProstFRARenault e.dams92
7Nick HeidfeldGERMahindra Racing78
8Daniel AbtGERAbt Schaeffler Audi59
9Jose Maria LopezARGDS Virgin Racing50
10Nelson Piquet JrBRANextEV TIO33
11Stephane SarrazinFRATecheetah32
12Oliver TurveyGBRNextEV TIO26
13Robin FrijnsNEDMS Amlin Andretti24
14Mitch EvansNZLPanasonic Jaguar Racing22
15Loic DuvalFRAFF Dragon Racing20
16Pierre GaslyFRARenault e.dams18
17Maro EngelGERVenturi16
18Jerome d'AmbrosioBELFF Dragon Racing11
19Tom DillmanFRAVenturi11
20Antonio Felix da CostaPORMS Amlin Andretti10
21Adam CarrollGBRPanasonic Jaguar Racing5
22Esteban GutierrezMEXVenturi5
23Alex LynnGBRDS Virgin Racing3