FORMULA E TITLE RIVALS COLLIDE
Buemi and di Grassi disagree on Turn 3 collision
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.