The most dramatic championships often come down to who wins the last race of the season. Unfortunately things don’t always work out that way, like in Formula E this season. The title did come down to the last race, but the champion wasn’t crowned by winning. In fact he didn’t even finish the race.
Heading into the season-closing double-header in London this past weekend, Sebastien Buemi and Lucas di Grassi were neck-and-neck in the standings. Each had won three races out of 8 held to that point. Di Grassi finished fourth to edge out Buemi (fifth) in the first of the two races in Battersea Park, then Buemi took pole position in the second race to tie things up.
The title looked set to come down to the wire until di Grassi hit the back of Buemi’s car heading into the third corner on the first lap. Both were taken out of the race, forced to limp back to the pits with no hope of finishing in the points. All that was left for them was to see who would set the fastest lap and score two bonus points to put them over the top. So in they went to a shootout.
The two traded fast laps until, with just two laps to go and di Grassi holding the top lap of the day, Buemi went back out on the track and set a lap time of 1:24.15, beating di Grassi’s best by less than a second. That was enough to take the two extra points and put the Swiss driver over the top, securing the drivers’ title after narrowly losing to Nelson Piquet Jr last season.
Far more decisive was the Renault e.dams team that won the teams’ championship with 270 points, well ahead of di Grassi’s Abt Audi team. Between Buemi and his wingman Nicolas Prost (who won both the final races in London), the Renault team took the checkered flag at half the races this season to score its second consecutive title. Di Grassi won three, with Sam Bird and Jerome d’Ambrosio each winning once.