Renault e.dams was back on track this Sunday morning for Free Practice on the second day of the HKT Hong Kong ePrix. The timings progressively improved throughout the session allowing the Swiss driver to set a new track record of 1:02.002. However, Sébastien was unable to repeat this in Qualifying which saw him start last on the grid after having hit the wall. Nicolas had to settle for 14th position, 0.8s behind the poleman, Felix Rosenqvist.
The race started behind the safety car because of an issue with the starting light. Once racing was underway, Nicolas and Sebastien had a clean gateway at Turn 1, avoiding the spinning Rosenqvist. Two laps later, Nicolas moved up to ninth with Sébastien in 18th. After setting one of the fastest laptimes, the Swiss driver put his head down and was up to 14th before his mandatory car swap. When they exited the pits, Nicolas and Sébastien rejoined the track in 10th and 11th respectively. On the final lap, Nicolas crossed the finish line in ninth after overtaking Alex Lynn, grabbing two more vital points for both championships. Meanwhile, Sébastien concluded his tough weekend in 11th place. However, it was found that the FIA security stickers on the inverter and MGU units did not correspond with those declared on the Technical Passport provided by Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team for the event. Therefore, the stewards have decided to disqualify Daniel Abt, meaning Nicolas ended eighth and Sébastien tenth, grabbing the one point remaining.
Renault e.dams leaves Hong Kong with a total of 7 points and will be back on track for the second round of the FIA Formula E Championship on January 13th 2018, in Marrakesh (Morocco).
Alain Prost, co-owner of the team
“The weekend has been disappointing. We will analyze where the reliability issues we faced this weekend came from to ensure we solve them quickly. The important thing from today is to work hard to get us back to the front. We are not where we should have been this weekend.”
Vincent Gaillardot, FE Program Leader
“Regarding yesterday’s race, we are still trying to understand where the reliability issues came from. We saw earlier today during Free Practice 3 that Sébastien’s car was very reliable in qualifying mode. However, during the race, we didn’t manage to recover like we usually do. The competition has certainly progressed but beyond that, we haven’t managed to deliver and capitalise on our usual performances. We will continue to analyze this to fully optimize the car.”
Nicolas Prost, #8
“The weekend has been tough, we would have expected more. Last year, Hong Kong was also a difficult weekend but yet we were efficient for the rest of the season, so there is no need to draw hurried conclusions. We just have to understand why we didn’t have the rhythm to race at the front.”
Sébastien Buemi, #9
“A weekend to forget! But a contrasting weekend at least as we managed to show good pace in Free Practice until the car worked less after 3-4 laps. We must understand why we had those issues and fix them before Marrakesh. Today, we didn’t have the pace that we should have. The objective now is to analyze the data we’ve collected, understand it and optimize the car in order to be back on top.”