Badger was in Battersea today ahead of the Formula E double-header race weekend. Here’s what the drivers had to say ahead of the London E-prix:
Lucas di Grassi – ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport
On how he approaches this weekend: “Here in London – a fantastic venue to end the championship. We have 20% of the championship left. People are saying this is the final, but it is not that we have a single race, we have two races. It will be an extremely tough weekend, as the weather has showed us today. There’s a lot of things that are out of our control, but there are other things that are totally within our control including our own performance and that is why we have to focus.”
On performance: “We have squeezed everything that we could, since Berlin, out of the car, in many different ways that we are allowed to, to try and get closer to the Renault e.dams car. We are very well prepared, and we take the same approach as any other race, that has allowed us to score an average of 17.4 points and finish on the podium in every single race during the season.”
On his championship rival, Sebastien Buemi: “It will be a tough fight. Seb has had an incredible championship as well, he has proved to be extremely fast, not only in Formula E, but in every single series.”
On the Battersea track: “In my opinion, this track is the most technically challenging track we have this season, because it is narrow, because it has adverse camber in some corners…we’ve just done the track walk and we have places that have zero margin for error, and where if you were to position your car one inch to either side, it could end your race with contact with the wall. It is the longest race of the season, with 97 km, so 6 or 7 more than Punta de Este. We are going to face weather challenges, we are going to face energy management challenges, and so it’s going to be a really tough weekend.”
Sebastien Buemi – Renault e.dams
On the season so far: “I think we have had a pretty good season so far. It’s more or less a 17 point average on each weekend, which is close to a second position. I think we have shown that most of the time, we were very quick, and we were also quick here last year, as we won the race. This year, we had a few little issues, made a few little mistakes and when we push it to the limit, it is very difficult to avoid any of those things.”
On the weekend ahead: “I’m confident that we can have a strong weekend here. The circuit is a bit longer, so we shouldn’t have the problems that we did in Paris, and I think the speed is there, so its just a matter of getting the basics right.”
Nelson Piquet Jr – NEXTEV TCR.
On London: “It’s good to be back over here, it’s a race that has big crowds. Unfortunately it will be the last time that we are here, but I’m sure we are going to be one day, so I’m not too worried about that.”
On his Season 2 and a drive for Season 3: “I’m happy the season is coming to an end as it hasn’t been a good one for us, and looking forward to Season 3. I’ll still be around, I’ll let you guys know soon.”
On driving in other motorsport series, and coming back to FE: “It doesn’t really make any difference for me, it’s like when you jump in your husband’s car and then back into your own, you get used to it.”
On the weather for the weekend: “Obviously if it’s raining, there’s going to be more accidents and more things going on, but for me personally, I don’t mind. If it’s rainy or dry, it will be the same for me.
Sam Bird – DS Virgin Racing
This weekend, Sam will be looking to consolidate 3rd place in the drivers’ championship, and 3rd place for the team. How would he feel if he found himself between Lucas di Grassi and Sebastien Buemi on track, as they battle for the championship?
“It will feel a bit like I’m in the way, but I’m racing – I’m racing for my own championship and they will have to squabble around me! It’s a tough one. I don’t know what I would do in that situation but I would probably focus on my job. They have their job to do and I have mine, mine is to score as many points for DS Virgin as I can, and theirs is to score as many as they can, so that’s the whole point of racing. “
“There’s no reason why I should think Lucas is ahead, I’m second, Seb’s third, so that means I’m third in the championship, because what if D’Ambrosio is 4th, and I have a DNF on Sunday? I need to just do the best job I can and forget everybody else, and be pushing for my team.”
Bruno Senna – Mahindra Racing
On the Battersea track: “Well, it’s a tough track, and last year really proved it was difficult to overtake here, but also, the energy management is very difficult to manage here. Of course, we have the weather to play with – last year we got lucky that the races were dry, although for qualifying there was a bit of rain. Today, we saw on the track walk how the conditions are very tricky. There’s lots of dust, dirt and mud on the track, so it’s going to be a lot of work for everybody to be on top, but hopefully we can continue our momentum and finish strongly in these two last races.”
On the race length: “If the race is too long and you are coasting a lot, that can lead to some funny strategies, which puts everybody on the back foot. Here, it’s hard to overtake, so to overtake, you need to expend a lot of energy, which means that fighting can make everybody have different times. Its difficult to see how it’s going to work, but the theory is that with more coasting there is more action on track, but it gets to a point where it’s too much coasting and all you are doing is saving!”
Robin Frijns – MS Amlin Andretti
On re-signing with Andretti: “I’m really pleased that I have signed again with Andretti, I felt comfortable with the team from the beginning of the season, and we have had some good results, so I am looking forward to the start of next season.”
On the season 3 car: “Everything feels pretty good on the new car, I’ve tested it once, and I feel we have made a good step forward, so we will see where we are in Hong Kong.”