Sebastien Buemi, Red Bull, Singapore, 2018

No F1 return for Buemi as he commits to Formula E with Nissan for 2019

Formula E

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Sebastien Buemi will not return to Formula 1 next year as he has extended his stay in Formula E.

The 2015/16 Formula E champion will continue to drive for the E.Dams team, whose cars are now branded by Nissan instead of the Japanese manufacturer’s alliance partner Renault.

Buemi, who drove for Toro Rosso in F1 between 2009 and 2011, is Red Bull’s test and reserve driver. His presence in the paddock at last weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix (pictured) prompted speculation Red Bull was considering a role for him at his former team, which has at least one vacant seat for the 2019 F1 season, and is known to be considering many options.

However several of next year’s Formula E races clash with rounds on the 2019 F1 calendar, ruling out an F1 return for Buemi.

The 29-year-old will be joined at Nissan E.Dams by Formula Two racer Alexander Albon, who will make his Formula E debut at December’s curtain-raiser in Saudi Arabia. Albon tested for Renault E.Dams earlier this year.

E.Dams team principal Jean-Paul Driot said: “Sebastien has been an important part of the E.Dams team since our first Formula E race four years ago in China.

“We know Alex well from his performances with DAMS in Formula Two, and we’re excited to bring his talent into the Formula E championship.”

View the current list of 2019 F1 drivers and teams

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2018 F1 season

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Alexander Albon, Formula E, Marrakesh, 2018
Albon tested for Renault E.Dams in Marrakesh earlier this year

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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9 comments on “No F1 return for Buemi as he commits to Formula E with Nissan for 2019”

  1. quite a coup for Formula E that a driver appears to be choosing their series over F1. however, I find it hard to believe this is the case (unless buemi is sick to the back teeth of red bull/toro rosso shenanigans, and who could blame him) and if an F1 drive was on the cards he would have taken it in a flash. still, it’s good publicity for FE.

    1. I would totally understand Buemi’s choice. Between fighting for a championship in a serie attracting more and more manufacturers and going back to F1 in a midfield team at best, the choice is easily understandable.

      Vergne also seemed to have (deliberately) made that same choice, after saying that he would only return to F1 to a top team.

    2. Bear in mind that if Buemi signed for F1, he’d have to miss either the Australian GP, or the WEC Sebring 1000 mi. He’s also a Toyota factory driver, remember, which makes his Nissan signing… uhm, weird. Unlike Toyota and Renault, Toyota and Nissan have an ongoing rivalry, in Super GT.

  2. Sad on both fronts. I think Buemi would’ve made a terrific return, he’s very talented. And Albon has been very good, and deserves a chance too… maybe Formula E will bring him closer to F1, although that’s a path no one has ever taken, of course.

  3. Good news for Buemi but sad news for F1/STR. I was getting quite excited about the possibility of a Buemi/Kvyat driver line-up.

    Also, I’m surprised that he has been allowed to dovetail is Toyota WEC activities with a role with Nissan…even if he is just staying with the same team in FE.

  4. No surprise here as he was never in the frame for a return in F1. His seat fitting was just a standard precaution for the fly away races, as he is their reserve driver.

    More surprising is the confirmation of Alvon as his team mate as he would be a perfect fit for RB imho, being a young talent and Thai.

  5. Kvyat is going to be announced (in Sotchi) for STR in 2019

    1. heard rumours that his teammate will be Wherlein

      1. Wehrlein has been testing Mahindra Formula E this week tho

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