Buemi lucks out after skipping Formula E’s New York debut for WEC race

Weekend Racing Wrap

Posted on

| Written by

Formula E championship leader Sebastien Buemi chose to miss the series’ double header of races on a new circuit in New York to race in the Nurburgring Six Hours – but his Toyota broke down before the race began.

It was a huge weekend of racing action which also featured IndyCar’s last street race of the year in Toronto, Formula Renault Eurocup at the Nurburgring, World Touring Cars in Argentina and NASCAR on the Loudon oval in New Hampshire. Enjoy the highlights below.

World Endurance Championship

Race 4: Nurburgring

Team orders ruled at Porsche
Fuel pump failure on the number eight Toyota which Buemi shared with Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima meant the Formula E championship leader spent the formation lap crawling back to the pits using electric power only. Perhaps the racing gods have a sense of humour, though you could forgive Buemi finding little to laugh about a problem which left them five laps down at the finish.

Ahead of a crunch decision on whether Porsche may scrap its WEC effort and potentially switch to Formula E or F1, the manufacturer’s top brass were present to see the team score an emphatic one-two, albeit one which was decided by team orders. Brendon Hartley, Timo Bernhard and Earl Bamber’s double-points win at Le Mans meant their scrap with the sister car of Andre Lotterer, Nick Tandy and Neel Jani was called off when Porsche held the latter in the pits for an extra 20 seconds.

LMP 2 was dominated by the Le Mans-winning Oliver Jarvis, Thomas Laurent and Ho Pin Tung for Jackie Chan DC Racing, GTE Pro was won by the Ferrari duo of Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado after a close fight in the class, while GTE Am was won by Patrick Dempsey’s team run in cooperation with Proton Competition in the hands of Christian Ried, Matteo Cairoli and Marvin Dienst.

Formula E

Races 9-10: New York

Sam Bird doubled up in New York
Buemi’s absence gave Lucas di Grassi the opportunity to slash his 32-point lead with 58 points available over the two races in New York. However fourth and fifth place finishes for Di Grassi means Buemi retains a ten point lead with the two races in Montreal at the end of the month still to come.

Sam Bird became only the second driver in Formula E history to win both races on one weekend, with a pair of dominant victories on the very tight course. Alex Lynn surprised by taking pole position for his first Formula E race on Saturday while deputising for Jose Maria Lopez, another WEC absentee. But he was beaten to turn one by Daniel Abt and later retired. Bird passed Lynn early on however and then took Abt on lap 16 and after that was never header. Abt’s retirement promoted Techeetah duo Jean-Eric Vergne and Stephane Sarrizan to the podium.

In the Sunday race the pole sitter was again beaten to turn one by the driver alongside him. This time it was Bird who lost out to Felix Rosenqvist. However Bird pulled a copycat move to his one on Abt in race one however to reclaim the lead and this time was joined on the podium by the Mahindra pair, Rosenqvist leading Nick Heidfeld. Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly drove Buemi’s Renault and briefly held third on the final lap but crashed exiting the final corner and crossed the line in fourth place in his damaged car.


Race 12: Toronto

Josef Newgarden took his second win of the season at Toronto after a fortuitously-timed first pit stop, shortly before a crash for Tony Kanaan caused a caution period.

Helio Castroneves dominated the race early on but he, Simon Pagenaud and Graham Rahal were caught out by the early yellow period and had to fight their way out of the midfield. Pagenaud did the best job, bringing his car home fifth. Alexander Rossi and James Hinchcliffe completed the podium, the latter taking a popular rostrum finish at home.

Scott Dixon held his championship lead despite tangling with Will Power on the first lap. The contact put Power out while Dixon recovered to tenth.

World Touring Car Championship

Races 11-12: Argentina


The partially reversed grid for race one meant a front row of Yann Ehrlacher and Tom Chilton. The young Frenchman got off the line well, but into Chilton tapped the Lada wide in turn two. That left Ehrlacher third behind Mehdi Bennani, who he quickly re-passed, and later in the race Chilton received a five-second penalty which gave Ehrlacher the win. Bennani was second and Esteban Guerrieri reached the podium at home.

An unwell Norbert Michelisz won race two after the pole-sitter Nicky Catsburg suffered a puncture at half distance while leading comfortably. His second tyre failure of the weekend meant he left Argentina pointless. Tiago Monteiro finished second while Thed Bjork salvaged a podium for Volvo ahead of Guerrieri.

Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup

Races 12-13: Nurburgring

Will Palmer lost his championship lead after an indifferent weekend at the Nurburgring. Robert Shwarzman heads the points after winning race one, though his lead would be much greater had he not gone off later in the wet race two, finishing ninth.

Sacha Fenestraz won the rain-hit race and lies six points behind Shwarzman in the standings and four ahead of Palmer. The field will be in action again this weekend on the Red Bull Ring.


Race 19: Loudon

In a race with eleven lead changes and seven cautions, Denny Hamlin emerged as the winner at New Hampshire. Hamlin came to the fore late on, but did enough to reach the flag first. Stage 1 was won by Martin Truex Jr, who lead over 130 laps of the race, while Kyle Busch took stage 2 honours before falling down the order. Kyle Larson finished second after starting in 30th and last, hounding Hamlin in the closing laps and finishing just half a second back.

Also last weekend

Lewis Hamilton comfortably won his home Grand Prix from pole position while team mate Valtteri Bottas put in a great drive – and benefited from late bad luck for Ferrari – to complete a Mercedes one-two. Both Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel suffered punctures in the closing laps of the race, resulting in them finishing just third and seventh respectively, with Vettel’s championship lead slashed to one point.

Charles Leclerc continued to monopolise feature race pole position in Formula Two and used it to produce his fifth win of the year. Nihcolas Latifi won the sprint race. In GP3 George Russell took his second win of the year on Saturday and now holds a 35-point lead over Anthoine Hubert. Giuliano Alesi moved up to sixth in the championship by winning race two.

Over to you

What racing action did you watch last weekend? Let us know in the comments.

Next weekend’s racing

The following series are in action next weekend:

  • Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters races 9-10: Moscow
  • Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup races 14-15: Red Bull Ring
  • IMSA race 8: Lime Rock
  • NASCAR Cup race 20: Indianapolis

Thanks to Robert Mathershaw (@mathers) for contributing to this article.

Weekend Racing Wrap

Browse all Weekend Racing Wraps

22 comments on “Buemi lucks out after skipping Formula E’s New York debut for WEC race”

  1. Re the F2:

    1. Charles LeClerc is a monster (in a good way)

    2. Sterling job by the marshals to get Boschung’s car out of the way in the sprint race, so they didn’t have to finish under the safety car

    1. I really enjoyed the F2 races this weekend. I love the fact that the young drivers don’t know the phrase “you can’t pass there”.

  2. Quite depressing to see in Indy the girls on the podium almost as part of the drivers ‘trophy’.

    F1 seems to have relegated this mainly to the sidelines (hopefully soon forever or make it a mixed gender thing at least).

    One day…

    1. Simon (@weeniebeenie)
      17th July 2017, 13:48

      That corridor of clapping girls on the way to the cooldown room needs to go pronto.

      1. agreed 100%. they should just go straight from the car via a visible stairway without a corridor of wannabe models to the podium.

        1. Aren’t the ones clapping later just the ones from the grid? Either way I’m sure they would prefer to have jobs, can’t see it hurts anyone.

  3. Robert McKay
    17th July 2017, 14:44

    Everything about that Leclerc win in F2 was crazy – the sheer speed at which he pulled away from the rest and then somehow surviving what looked initially like a massive engine failure to still make the chequered flag. Unreal.

    That Sam Bird stat: “Sam Bird became only the second driver in Formula E history to win both races on one weekend” – out of interest, how many times have FE had two races on one weekend?

    1. how many times have FE had two races on one weekend?

      Very good point: This was their fourth, and when you consider Felix Rosenqvist would have won both races in Berlin this year had his team not got him a penalty at his pit stop, drivers ‘doing the double’ in Formula E headers is arguably more normal than having two different winners!

    2. This was only the fourth so far. 1 in each of seasons one and two for the finales in London, then there’s been two so far this season (Berlin and NYC), and then the season 3 finale coming up in Montreal next time out.

  4. So basically even formulaE drivers acknowledge formulaE sucks?

    1. Watching FormulaE highlights, I cannot help but to think that it is a very, very clumsy formula. Could be because of the circuits layouts (with extreme hairpins and non-natural flows) and the cars being too big and with low grip. They are skidding often, can barely make those corners and, in race, they are like bumping cars there.

      Maybe smaller cars would suit better on these circuit layouts. I don’t know if the current car dimensions are dictated by the batteries dimensions or it is just because they want to look alike F1 cars.

      1. There’s no excuse for the quality of racing on show in FE. Maybe the drivers know they can get away with a bit of bump and grind with the robust bodywork, but the clumsiness of some of the moves and behaviour in general is not what you’d expect from drivers in a top class formula

        1. Robert McKay
          18th July 2017, 20:01

          “but the clumsiness of some of the moves and behaviour in general is not what you’d expect from drivers in a top class formula”

          The clumsiness of some of the moves is exactly what I’d expect from drivers in a formula where all the tracks are extremely narrow street tracks. The drivers simply aren’t being given any space to have a proper fight.

      2. @janderclanderr, the Spark-Renault SRT_01E effectively has the same dimensions as the GP2/11 used in GP2/Formula 2, give or take, and is similar in size to the 2016 F1 cars (if not even fractionally larger than some of the cars on the grid that year) – about 5 metres long and about 1.8m wide. Overall, the cars are comparatively large when you compare them to the dimensions of the tracks that they use.

  5. What on earth is the point of those WTCC videos? “The Best Action from . . .” Followed by twenty five seconds of utterly irrelevant clips of drivers waiting on grid, girls on grid, cars with doors open – and then at last, it’s the racing! But with no information, no graphics, no commentary. Just 40 seconds of close-cut and slow-motion clips that leaves the viewer with zero understanding of what actually happened or who won the reace. Are the videos supposed to inspire me to want to watch the WTCC race somewhere, or possibly even want to go to a race somewhere? Because they just don’t.

    1. I’m sorry, it seems as though I am very ungrateful and I really am not.
      I really do enjoy these Weekend Racing Wraps, and I’m very impressed that Keith and his team produce race reports so quickly and consistently.
      But these WTCC videos are as bad as the old DTM videos. How could they be commissioned to be so uninformative and irrelevant?

      1. @nickwyatt It does feel like the WTCC’s videos have got less and less useful. It does seem like it’s getting to the point that it’s no longer worth having them here because they contain so little material of interest.

    2. As far as I know, WTCC wants to create a sg of a “storytelling” through the race weekend with the story of the day segments and with Al’ Legouix’s Through My Eyes videos,and by focusing on the atmosphere.
      It is a decision they made in 2016 January.
      My inner devil would say, that it’s because they don’t have enough action to cram in the videos, since the new TC1 regs, with shrunk field and way more aero dependent cars.
      Back then in the S2000 and D2000(or how the S2000 diesel spec was called), there were way better highlights videos, showing of how the actual races unfolded.

    3. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks that, I stopped watching the WTCC highlights ages ago because they tell you nothing about what happened in the race.

  6. Formula E technology is actually quite impressive! It’s a shame the same can’t be said for the quality of the ‘hairpin to hairpin’ street circuits or the dodgem style quality of racing!

  7. Quite a fan of the indicate series but the Yellow flag pit rules @keithcollantine mentioned in commentary make the races a complete lottery and take a lot of the enjoyment out of it for me. For Newgarden to win because he happened to be in the pits at just the right moment (luck not strategy) is typical in the series, surely we want to see the best team/driver combo winning, not races won and lost on the roll of the dice!

    1. @swh1386 I have similar misgivings, although the same is possible in F1 with the Virtual Safety Car rules – remember how Ricciardo lost second place in the Unites States Grand Prix last year.

Comments are closed.