FOR­MULA E TI­TLE RI­VALS COL­LIDE

Buemi and di Grassi dis­agree on Turn 3 col­li­sion

Motor Sport News - - News - By Jack Benyon Pho­tos:ra­jan Jangda/e-rac­ing.net, LAT

Se­bastien Buemi has ac­cused For­mula E ti­tle rival Lu­cas di Grassi of be­ing “dis­re­spect­ful” and claimed he had “zero re­spect” af­ter the Brazil­ian drove into the back of him in the ti­tle de­cider.

The duo had sparred at close quar­ters dur­ing the first race of the week­end at Bat­tersea Park, and Buemi’s pole for the sec­ond race meant three points and a tied cham­pi­onship be­tween the two head­ing into Sun­day’s en­counter.

But di Grassi – start­ing from third – ap­peared to be caught out by Buemi’s brak­ing and hit the back of his Re­nault e.dams car de­stroy­ing the rear wing.

With the ti­tle on the line, both driv­ers got back to the pits and set out to score fastest lap, which awarded two points. Buemi took the hon­our on his 16th tour, giv­ing him the ti­tle. Af­ter the race, the Swiss driver pulled no punches as to what he thought of the sit­u­a­tion.

“Once he braked, I just saw on the cam­era, he has two op­tions: Go right, or nail the back of my car,” said Buemi. “He nailed it per­fectly, but a lit­tle bit too strong as we both went out.

“Of course you’re al­ways go­ing to brake in a dif­fer­ent way, the brakes are cold, the tyres are cold, we don’t have any for­ma­tion lap. But I just had a look at the footage. What he says is dis­re­spect­ful be­cause first of all he’s ly­ing, and sec­ond of all he’s made a huge mis­take and he tries to blame some­one else. Hon­estly I have zero re­spect for this guy.”

Abt driver di Grassi de­fended his role in the in­ci­dent, claim­ing that Buemi had braked early into the cor­ner.

“I haven’t seen the footage but I’ve seen data,” said di Grassi af­ter the race. “I was in the stew­ards room. It’s very clear. I had a very good start and I knew I had to be ag­gres­sive against Prost. Here it is easy to block, I knew If I was be­hind Prost it would be a strug­gle as he was ex­tremely fast. I was ag­gres­sive with him, we ended up touch­ing a lit­tle bit, and Seb braked al­most 50 me­tres early com­pared to me and Nico. When I re­alised I locked my brakes. That’s not how the first cor­ner should have been, we should have fought for the next 33 laps. In these con­di­tions with cold tyres and cold brakes I had to be ag­gres­sive.”

Di Grassi re­ceived a 50-sec­ond penalty for the in­ci­dent, which was in­con­se­quen­tial af­ter the early crash and mul­ti­ple vis­its to the pit lane con­signed the Brazil­ian to the bot­tom of the or­der.

Fri­jns has im­pressed in first sea­son Di Grassi hits Buemi at T3 Jaguar is test­ing the I-type 1

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