Buemi blames group qualifying for poor Mexico performance

Monaco ePrix – Sebastien Buemi put his poor Mexico performance down to the group qualifying format.

Buemi made Formula E history in Buenos Aires by being the first driver to win three consecutive ePrix, but that came to an abrupt end in Mexico with a dire weekend that meant the championship leader left with only a five point advantage in the standings.

Qualifying was where things immediately went wrong for Buemi, having gone out in the first group he to put up with the worst of the conditions during qualifying. As a result, he not only failed to make it into the Super Pole shootout for the first time this season, but left him a lowly eighth on the grid.

“FP1 and FP2 I had the fastest lap in Mexico, so I think the pace was there,” Buemi explained.

“I think the qualifying format is quite hard, especially there. There was lots of wind and clearly the guys in the first group had not much chance to qualify well. In the end we qualified eighth and Lucas was 16th, we were in the same group. So I felt, like him, I was in the wrong group.”

Buemi was then blocked leaving the garage by one of the Andretti drivers who had left the pit box early, costing the championship leader a handful of places.

“I lost a championship two years ago in Moscow because of an unsafe release, they gave me a thirty second penalty. In Mexico, someone had an unsafe release and got a one second penalty.

“So if that’s the new rule then I would prefer to do an unsafe release and make sure I don’t lose five places like I did in Mexico!”

Further drama struck for Buemi as he spun his Renault eDAMS at Turn 1 in an attempt to avoid Jose Maria Lopez, who had made a similar mistake.

“Basically the conclusion of the weekend was I was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Even though we had the pace we couldn’t get much out of it.”

Buemi is confident that the Monaco round will prove to be a more successful race for him:

“The most important thing for us is to have a clean weekend. We know we have the speed to be at the front. It’s not going to be an easy one here, it will be difficult to overtake if we don’t qualify so well so we will out lots of effort into qualifying.”

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Chris Stevens

Chris is a member of the Autosport Academy and has been writing about motorsport professionally since 2015. He has been one of the top Formula E journalists since he went to Donington Park for pre-season testing a week after picking up his A-Level results.

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