Renault e.dams driver Sebastien Buemi has said that problems with heating the tyres and brakes caused the team to under perform in the Paris ePrix.
Renault are widely regarded as having the fastest car on the grid this year, managing to get a car on the front row of the grid more than any other team.
However last weekend saw them line up in fifth and eighth, one of their poorest performances to date. While Buemi was able to fight back through the field to get a podium, he lost out in the championship race to Lucas di Grassi, who now has an eleven point lead.
Buemi has said that the reason for the lack of pace in qualifying was due to issues with getting the brakes and tyres up to temperature before his hot lap.
Speaking to Autosport, he said, “It’s just strange because it was so cold here, we’ve never had it so cold, and we didn’t do a good job trying to anticipate that. We didn’t expect to struggle so much with that, so once we go back to a normal temperature we should be good.”
“Obviously it’s a shame because we have the speed in the race. We were quick, otherwise we wouldn’t have come back like that. But in qualifying I couldn’t get [the tyres] to start, and after the pitstops it was the same, that was our main issue.”
The explanation would go some way to explaining the Renault’s sporadic pace during the weekend, with Buemi at one stage able to set a string of fastest laps, only to fall behind the DS Virgin Racing cars after the pitstop.
Buemi also said that the team discovered a brake issue on his car having stripped his Z.E.15s after the race in Long Beach. He commented, “The problem on the brakes is now gone. We are working as hard as we can, Renault is putting a lot of effort into it.”
“We had a big advantage but I’m not sure we’re the best anymore. The season is long and we will fight to the end.”