Sebastien Buemi says Nissan’s first ABB FIA Formula E championship victory comes as a “huge weight off the shoulders” after coming up short on a number of races this year.
The Japanese manufacturer took its maiden win in its 12th E-Prix, with Buemi and operating partner e.dams breaking a two-year winless streak in series competition dating back to Berlin 2017.
While having combined with teammate Oliver Rowland to score a season-high six poles, the French-run squad had missed out on several race-winning opportunities, namely in Paris, which saw both cars drop out from the lead with issues.
“It’s a huge weight off the shoulders,” Buemi told e-racing365. “We’ve been there and lately for Nissan in motorsport internationally, it’s maybe not been what they’ve wanted.
“I’m really happy that we finally won now.
“We have the most pole positions this year and we have a win and five podiums, so I’m quite happy. I think we can all be delighted for the team and for Nissan in general.”
Buemi, who started from pole, credits the race’s safety car period, to retrieve the stranded Jaguar of Alex Lynn, as being a contributing factor to their controlling run once the race went back green.
“I was over consuming from the start and I was getting told the other guys had 1 or 2 percent less [energy] so I didn’t know what they were planning to do,” he said.
“The safety car, in the end, helped me.
“It was similar to Rome. I had to slow down, not to do an extra lap. I don’t know how much margin we had in the end but I made sure we didn’t have to do the extra lap.”
While being one of one of four drivers still in with a mathematical chance of the drivers’ championship, Buemi realizes it will be a challenge to walk away as the first-ever two-time Formula E champion following tomorrow’s title-deciding race.
The Swiss driver sits 26 points behind championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne with a maximum of 29 points up for grabs tomorrow, including for pole and fastest race lap.
“To be honest if you stay realistic it’s going to be really hard,” Buemi said. “Who knows. Tomorrow we’ll qualify in Group 1, which is not going to be easy. But I’ll do the best I can.
“The track is the same, the conditions should be the same, so why not? But it’s not going to be easy.
“If you look at how many DNFs I had where I was in a good shape, I should be fighting for the championship easily, and I’m fourth now.
“I’m happy in general. We cannot redo the races of the past and it’s good that we finally nailed it because it’s been two years and a long, long time for me.”