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Buemi: Nissan MGU Saga Made 2018-19 a “Political” Season

Sebastien Buemi says that Season 5 of ABB FIA Formula E had a significant political edge…

Photo: Formula E

Sebastien Buemi has described the 2018-19 Formula E season as “political” and the conduct of rival manufacturers as “disappointing” after Nissan’s unique twin-MGU powertrain was outlawed.

E-racing365 uncovered aspects of the Nissan e.dams Gen 2 powertrain, which utilized a complex dual-motor setup not found in other teams’ race cars, back in September.

Other manufacturers questioned the application of the package, in particular how the two MGUs operated.

Earlier in the season, deep suspicions arose that Nissan was pushing its innovation beyond what some believed were acceptable sporting and technical limits.

The design was subsequently outlawed for the 2019-20 championship, meaning that the Japanese manufacturer has needed to adapt to a single motor for next season.

“It’s been really political and has been played in a bad way from my point of view,” said Buemi, who finished as runner-up to Jean-Eric Vergne in the championship.

“Lots of people have done lots of lobbying and clearly to finish second in the championship is a good reward for the team, but on the other hand, I am sad that what we’ve produced this year will be banned for next year.

“Maybe it was too good for some people or too clever.”

Buemi added that he was additionally disappointed that the powertrain, which derived from the Nissan technical team led by the experienced Vincent Gaillardot, couldn’t be developed further for the 2019-20 season.

“It just disappoints me massively because Formula E is about innovation in powertrains and in electric mobility and we killed it because it was too good,” he said.

“‘[I’m] just also disappointed by the behaviour of some other teams on that subject, but in the end, we have to live with it and hopefully, we can beat the other teams fair and square next year with a similar powertrain.”

Buemi cemented his place behind Vergne in the drivers’ standings with a win and three further podium finishes in the last four races of the season.

These were the Swiss driver’s only top-three finishes of the campaign, while his rookie teammate Oliver Rowland finished second on two occasions to end up 10th in the points.

Nissan, meanwhile, finished fourth in the constructors’ championship.

The manufacturer’s motorsport boss Mike Carcamo recently refuted the suggestion that banning the twin-MGU powertrain would thwart technical innovation in Formula E.

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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