Gasly confirmed as Buemi's New York ePrix replacement
Pierre Gasly has been confirmed by Renault e.dams as Sebastien Buemi's replacement for the New York ePrix, as last-ditch efforts to free the Swiss driver from his Toyota LMP1 commitments came to nought.
As predicted by Motorsport.com earlier this month, Gasly will join Nicolas Prost at Renault e.dams for the Brooklyn double-header, with Formula E points leader Buemi having to skip the event to contest the clashing FIA World Endurance Championship round at the Nurburgring.
Gasly, who is racing in Super Formula this year, will take part in the New York races with just one and a half days of Formula E experience under his belt after sampling the Renault e.dams car in Southern Italy last month.
The French driver, who drove for DAMS in GP2 in 2015 before winning the title for Prema Racing the following year, will however have to miss the Friday shakedown session in New York due to having Red Bull F1 simulator commitments that day.
"I'm really excited about New York, it will be a brand new experience and a great challenge to get in a Formula E car for just one race weekend," said Gasly. "There will be a lot of things to learn in a short time.
"I'll get there on Friday night at 11:30pm as I need to be in the Red Bull simulator on Friday, so it will probably be the worst preparation I've ever had for a race weekend.
"I'll go straight to Japan right after the race on Sunday for a day of testing in Super Formula, so it will be a busy 48 hours in New York - no time for rest!"
Motorsport.com understands that Renault e.dams investigated the possibility of Buemi taking part in Saturday's first New York race before then flying to Germany to take part in the Nurburgring WEC race.
However, talks are believed to have fallen through as no logistical solution for the Swiss driver to contest both events could be found.
Renault e.dams boss Jean-Paul Driot expressed his dissatisfaction with the situation, saying: "It has been a very frustrating time and very hard for us to accept we were forced into this.
"The situation is regrettable because even without this clash, the championship is not a certainty.
"Despite this unfortunate setback, I hope that with Pierre Gasly’s invaluable assistance, Renault e.dams will be able to defend their winning chances in Montreal."
Toyota: Buemi decision was never his to make
Toyota team director Rob Leupen said that the decision that Buemi should race in the Nurburgring WEC event over the New York ePrix was always up to the team and not the driver.
“This decision [for Buemi to race at the Nurburgring] is made entirely by us and not something which a driver can choose,” Leupen told Motorsport.com.
“Although it should be said clearly that Sebastien shares our strong motivation to win both world championships and is determined to return to the top step of the podium at the Nurburgring."
Leupen went on to state that Toyota drivers will always be expected to prioritise WEC, but that the recent agreement between Formula E and WEC to avoid date clashes should negate any future issues.
“The Nurburgring clash has not caused any issue for us but we can appreciate that it is not an ideal situation for some drivers,” added Leupen. "Therefore we welcome the recent FIA initiative to remove clashes from future calendars.
"Going forward, our position will remain that our drivers must prioritise WEC races over any other commitment."
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