Sebastian Buemi, FIA Formula E’s season two drivers’ champion, has ruled himself out of being a front runner for this drivers’ title despite currently being fourth in the championship halfway through the season. The Renault e.Dams driver is 57 points behind that of championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne and after a DNF in the last round at Punta del Este, believes that he will remain an unlikely championship contender.
“To be honest, I am really far [behind] in the championship. I see myself more of an outsider fighting for wins from time to time. But of course if the world championship remains open that is amazing. But if not, I am not going to be sad. I am going to be pushing for one-off trying to do well and try to grab a win while I can.”
The Formula E championship makes its debut in Rome this weekend and as well as being one of the longest tracks on the calendar at 1.7 miles long, there is also significant elevation change which is a new challenge for the drivers to face.
“It is completely straight forward,” Buemi states when asked about how the changes of gradient on the track might affect battery management. “In general, when you go flat, it doesn’t change anything. When you save energy, you might want to lift slightly later on the uphill because you don’t want the car to slow down as much and you can anticipate your lift points a little into the downhill because you are going to lose less speed by lifting.”
Opinions on the track in general were also positive from the drivers. The long width of the track is clearly notable which would be a huge benefit if the series revisited the track with the Generation 2 cars from next year. Buemi was also praising of the Rome layout, saying it was one of the better tracks.
“You know we have got some tracks and some very bad ones and I consider this one a bit like a mix between Montreal and Santiago. Santiago mainly because of the corners and Montreal because the track is quite wide. I think that is a very good base, even for next year where you sometimes think how the generation 2 car will go around Hong Kong, let’s say.”