Buemi frustrated after first-lap collision with Lotterer

Nissan Formula E Sebastien Buemi says his retirement in the Valencia E-Prix was “tough” to accept after he was taken out by Porsche rival Andre Lotterer on the opening lap.

Buemi frustrated after first-lap collision with Lotterer

Buemi has endured a tough start to the 2020/21 Formula E campaign with the Nissan team, which continues to race with its old powertrain having delayed the introduction of its new kit until next month’s Monaco E-Prix.

The 2015/16 champion scored only 11 points in the opening two double headers of the year, but qualified a season-best fourth for the first Valencia race after successfully progressing into the superpole section of qualifying.

However, his hopes of scoring Nissan’s first podium of 2021 were dashed when he was hit by Lotterer on the first lap of racing after the safety car, ending up beached in the gravel trap and having to retire immediately from the race.

Lotterer and Venturi’s Norman Nato were running side by side through the long Turn 8 left-hander when the Porsche driver outbraked himself going into the first part of the chicane, tagging the Nissan car of Buemi that had been running a few metres clear of the battling duo in fourth.

Lotterer was deemed responsible for the incident and promptly handed a drive-through penalty by the stewards which dropped him to the back of the pack.

Asked for his take on the incident that ended his race, Buemi said he was frustrated to lose out on a top result on a weekend he and Nissan have been competitive in an otherwise difficult start to the season.

“If I had managed a bit quicker the lap the corner before maybe I just would have missed it. Just a spot of the game,” he told Motorsport.com. “I just couldn’t do anything.

"All the hard work, to be spun around after only one lap, it’s tough. Andre has a lot of experience, it’s a shame this happened.

“I didn’t do an amazing job [this season], the car had some issues and the only times things were working well we basically got spun around. 

“Who knows what we could have done today. I think the car was good. The only time we are really good we get spun around. If you have people crashing into you, doing mistakes, then that’s it.”

This is the second time in two race weekends that Lotterer has been involved in a first-lap collision, having crashed into the leading Mercedes of Stoffel Vandoorne in the first Rome race earlier this month.

However, Lotterer felt there was little he could do to avoid hitting Buemi’s Nissan at this occasion, laying the blame on the "clumsy" circuit layout of the adapted Ricardo Tormo circuit.

“Honestly I don’t know what I could do differently,” Lotterer told Motorsport.com. “For me Sebastien was quite far away. I was battling with Norman and suddenly Sebastien is there, I think the layout of the track is a bit clumsy. 

“We saw a few collisions in that corner, unfortunately I couldn’t avoid it. So sorry for Seb and it was impossible to see him through Norman. I mean I was like say 'okay, I’m going to be there for the next corner.' Just bad timing.”

Read Also:

Lotterer was later involved in another collision with the second Venturi of Edoardo Mortara at Turn 1, a result of a brake problem that also forced Porsche teammate Pascal Wehrlein to retire the car in the pits.

Lotterer, who is yet to score a point five races into the 2021 season, will carry a three-place grid penalty into the second part of the Valencia double-header on Sunday.

“There the thing is actually I had a problem with brakes at the end,” the German driver told Motorsport.com. 

“I mean I still had brakes but I couldn’t stop the car as usual and couldn’t avoid the collision because I was actually. Mortara was on 235[kw attack mode] and he was actually ahead so I struggled to decelerate.”

Mortara had been running inside the points for much of the race before a mistake dropped him outside the top 10, with the collision with Lotterer while fighting for 15th position less than 10 minutes from the finishing leading to his retirement.

Summing up his race, Mortara told Motorsport.com: “Until that point, we made up a lot of   positions, we were starting P16 and I was already back to P7 or P8.

“At that moment I went off the track, start to fight again with a couple of cars. There was the incident with Andre that finished our race.”

shares
comments

Related video

Da Costa blasts FIA claims after controversial Valencia FE race
Previous article

Da Costa blasts FIA claims after controversial Valencia FE race

Next article

How Valencia E-Prix farce gave Formula E an image problem

How Valencia E-Prix farce gave Formula E an image problem
Load comments
The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two FE teams Prime

The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two FE teams

Electing not to share data with its competitive customer team would have been a straightforward means of gaining an edge on at least one of Mercedes' Formula E rivals last season. But by reciprocating the relationship forged under its initial HWA guise, when it was a customer to Venturi, both teams have reaped the rewards

Formula E
Nov 30, 2021
How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait Prime

How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait

With its ultra-successful sister team in Formula 1 and a support network providing some of the best minds and resources in the business, Mercedes Formula E team principal Ian James knew his squad had all the winning ingredients. But mixing it together was no easy feat and required key attributes to be grown from within

Formula E
Nov 29, 2021
How Formula E's polarising newcomer Ticktum can prove himself Prime

How Formula E's polarising newcomer Ticktum can prove himself

OPINION: Few figures in racing today divide opinion like Dan Ticktum. The Formula 2 race winner now has the chance to wipe his professional slate clean with his move into Formula E, but it won't be easy at the squad which has brought up the rear for the past three years. Here are the three key criteria he must meet to make a lasting impression on the series.

Formula E
Nov 27, 2021
How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E Prime

How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E

By virtue of its Formula 1 success, Mercedes was expected to rise to power in Formula E before long. That it won both the drivers' and manufacturers' championships this year, after only two seasons as a full works effort, belies a tricky path littered with potential pitfalls

Formula E
Nov 26, 2021
Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive Prime

Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive

OPINION: Circuit racing has traditionally favoured front- or rear-wheel-drive setups, eschewing the equal distribution of power. But for Formula E and other electric-powered series, our columnist believes it’s a perfect fit.

Formula E
Oct 13, 2021
How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success Prime

How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success

The Wolffs have carved their own paths in motorsport, leading their respective teams to success in Formula 1 and Formula E. But the two came together last month as their drivers finished first and second in the FE drivers' championship - a feat they are hugely proud of. In a rare joint interview, they reflect on a remarkable season

Formula E
Sep 21, 2021
The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21 Prime

The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21

OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was one without a narrative for much of the season, with no single car or driver able to break away from the pack. That makes choosing a top 10 especially difficult, particularly as the qualifying format meant some worthy performers were unable to enjoy their day in the sun.

Formula E
Sep 19, 2021
How Mercedes and de Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way Prime

How Mercedes and de Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way

When Nyck de Vries dominated the first race of what would be the most controversial and unpredictable Formula E season to date, it looked as though Mercedes was in for a cakewalk. But as the campaign wore on, the path to a title double became increasingly rocky. Neither driver or team would be assured of the crown until the closing stages of the very final race on a weekend of struggle in Berlin.

Formula E
Sep 17, 2021