Rome E-Prix – 2015/16 Formula E champion Sebastien Buemi says that some development done by his Renault e.dams team has “made the car worse”.
Having won the teams’ championship every year since Formula E’s inaugural season in 2014, as well as one drivers’ championship, Renault were favourites for the 2017/18 championship but the team has not scored a victory all season.
Instead it has been Renault’s customer team, Techeetah, that has been scoring big, having won two races with Jean-Eric Vergne, putting them at the head of both championships.
Buemi believes that the team went in the wrong direction with the car during pre-season testing, which has affected his championship challenge.
“At the start of the season we did some development that unfortunately went in the wrong direction,” he said.
“When we did test those things they were working better but not really on a street circuit, so it took a bit of time to realise that.
“We’ve done some development that is different to what Techeetah has, and I think in some ways we made the car worse. But then we understood why.”
Buemi believes Formula E’s unique one-day format has hindered Renault’s chances of recovery after a weak start to the season.
“The problem is with a one-day event you don’t have much mileage to test things so all of sudden it’s been three races and it’s actually only three days.
“It’s really hard and we didn’t get the most out of what we could have, and I think we have a better understanding of those things.
“So we’ve done some mistakes, and I hope from tomorrow onwards it’s going to be clean and if it is then we will be there.”
Buemi was happier with the handling of his car time last time out in Punta del Este, but a driver error cost him a potential podium finish having damaged his car after hitting a wall.