Frustrating start to new Formula E season for Renault e.dams

Renault e.dams says it is determined to return to its winning ways after it endured a frustrating start to the new FIA Formula E season in Hong Kong – despite its Z.E.17 cars’ electric racing technology again proving to be among the most efficient the grid.
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Drivers Sébastien Buemi and Nico Prost set competitive times in the practice sessions ahead of each race. In fact Buemi was fastest of all in the session ahead of race one and then set a record lap time in practice prior to race two.


But there would be problems in the two qualifying sessions which left the drivers out position for the start of the two races.


Buemi was only ninth for race one and then 20th for race two after a mistake on his qualifying lap. Prost was similarly affected – he was on course to go fastest of all in qualifying for race one only to make an error and wind up 18th overall. He later qualified 14th fastest for race two.


As predicted both Renault Z.E.17s – using highly complex powertrains developed by Renault Sport Racing for the all-electric racing category – started to gain positions in the two races.


Prost came through for a ninth place finish in race one. However things were tougher for Buemi when his car stopped on track with a technical glitch and he had to perform a systems re-boot before continuing. He finished in 11th.


In race two Prost crossed the line in ninth and Buemi again in 11th. However each was promoted a position (to eighth and tenth) after race winner Daniel Abt’s Audi Sport car was disqualified for a technical infringement.

Renault e.dams leaves Hong Kong ninth in the teams’ standings with Prost 13th and Buemi 15th respectively in the drivers’ table. The team will next be in action in round three of the championship in Marrakesh, Morocco on 13 January.

Renault e.dams co-owner Alain Prost said: “The Hong Kong weekend has been disappointing. We will analyse where the reliability issues we faced came from to ensure we solve them quickly. The important thing is to work hard to get us back to the front. We are not where we should have been this weekend.”

Renault Sport’s Formula E Programme Director added: “Regarding race one, we are still trying to understand where the reliability issues came from. We saw during Free Practice 3 that Sébastien’s car was very reliable in qualifying mode. However, during the race, we didn’t manage to recover like we usually do.

“The competition has certainly progressed but, beyond that, we haven’t managed to deliver and capitalise on our usual performances. We will continue to analyse this to fully optimise the car.”