Renault e.dams wins second FIA Formula E championship title, Sébastien Buemi crowned drivers’ champion
The drive and dynamism of Renault e.dams was duly rewarded today as a double win for Nico Prost in the London ePrix saw the French squad crowned FIA Formula E champion for a second consecutive year. A dramatic season finale in Battersea Park, London, where Sébastien Buemi had to race for fastest lap to gain the necessary points, brought double delight for the team as he was crowned drivers’ champion.
Renault e.dams embraced the challenge of the Formula E championship from the outset. It took the inaugural Formula E teams’ title in the first year of competition in 2014/15 but narrowly missed the drivers’ title that year.
An overhaul of the technical regulations for the second year, in which teams were given freedom over the powertrain, allowed Renault opportunity to put its technical expertise to adept use. Using its extensive EV know-how and facilities, which helped to create the avant-garde Twizy and ZOE, Renault e.dams quickly emerged as the title favourites.
The team won the first race of the second season in Beijing by a dominant 11 seconds. Another victory followed in round three in Punta del Este, plus podiums in Buenos Aires, Mexico and Paris. The team returned to winning ways in Berlin, setting up a nail-biting title showdown in London. Nico Prost took the spoils in the first race in London, edging Renault e.dams closer to the title, and his lights-to-flag victory in race two secured the crown.
Sébastien’s race to the title was much more dramatic. Wins in Beijing, Punta del Este and Berlin put him one point behind Lucas di Grassi coming into London. Fifth place in the first of the double header set up the title showdown for the second race, but it was not to be a textbook finale. A first lap collision with Lucas di Grassi damaged both Séb and Lucas’ cars, but with both level on points after Séb secured pole, the Swiss needed to continue to secure the title. What followed was a game of cat and mouse: with both out of the points, Séb and Lucas tried to secure the extra points for fastest lap. Ultimately a last-gasp run on the penultimate lap gave Séb the title, his first Formula E crown following a near-miss last year.
Sébastien has scored a total of 155 points and three wins en route to his first Formula E title. Nico has won twice to score a total of 115 points and finish the championship in third position.
Renault has used – and will continue the use – the trail-blazing series as a platform to road-test cutting edge electric vehicle technology, allowing thousands of road users to benefit everyday. Renault now leads the market in ZE sales.
Sébastien Buemi: “I struggle to believe it today. It’s amazing to be the champion after a very tough season. It was not how I wanted to win the title today if I’m honest. We had the crash at the start and our only choice was to win on the fastest lap. We had to give everything; tactics, placement… But I’m extremely happy for everyone. Everyone has worked so hard to get here and they deserve the title. The cleanest and fastest driver won and the best team too.”
Nicolas Prost: “It’s been a dream weekend. The pace in the last few races has been very strong so we knew that we would be the team to beat this weekend, but you never take anything for granted. We’ve had a fantastic weekend, with two wins, so you can’t get much better than this. Yesterday was important as I have had a very difficult season, but bounced back gradually and found the winning form right at the end. I’m so pleased to have secured third in the championship, delighted for Séb and of course very proud of this phenomenal team.”
Alain Prost, senior team manager, Renault e.dams: “I am extremely proud of the team today. Formula E is one of the most competitive environments I have ever experienced, and to win two titles today is an extraordinary achievement. We were fighting against top teams and drivers and never took it as a given that we could win. We have worked hard all year to put together the best car possible and Renault did a fantastic job with the powertrain. Two titles in two years is a fantastic tribute to everyone who has given their time and effort to the team.”
Jean-Paul Driot, senior team manager, Renault e.dams: “It is difficult to express emotions as you experience in these moments. You hope and you dream of these things, but when they actually happen you find it hard to get the right words. I am proud of each and every team member for contributing to these victories. We have built a professional and capable team that has risen to the challenge in the toughest of environments. We are proud of the team and our partnership with Renault. We have not made things easy for ourselves, and today was particularly tough, but we came through in the end and can enjoy these times now!”
Jérôme Stoll, President of Renault Sport Racing: “We are absolutely delighted with the titles today. The Formula E championship is an ideal platform for Renault to demonstrate the innovation and quality of its electric vehicle technology. The opening of the technical regulations in season two was a perfect opportunity for the teams at Renault Sport and our motorsport engine operations and the Technocentre, the nerve centre of road car design, to put their advanced skills and understanding of EV technology to the test. The robustness and speed of the package they put together was quickly acknowledged as the best in the field, and I am extremely pleased that we now have the titles to say so officially! Congratulations to the team and to Sébastien. We look forward to the developments we have seen on track this year being put to good use by our road car users in the latest generation of ZE vehicles.”