Sebastien Buemi to miss New York Formula E for Nurbugring WEC round

Formula E champion Sebastien Buemi will miss the New York double-header if its clash with the World Endurance Championship's Nurburgring round remains

Sebastien Buemi to miss New York Formula E for Nurbugring WEC round

The 2017 WEC calendar was ratified by the FIA last month and confirmed the clash on the July 15-16 weekend.

Though he could lose up to 58 points in the FE title battle, Buemi told Autosport he would put any Toyota LMP1 commitments before his FE campaign with Renault e.dams.

"The decision is made," he said. "The priority is Toyota.

"As a driver I have to focus on my job.

"The best thing I can do is try to have a good season."

The clash happened because WEC boss Gerard Neveu has an agreement with his teams not to have a race within four weeks of the Le Mans 24 Hours, while the Nurburgring needed a two-week gap leading up to its proposed Formula 1 German Grand Prix date on July 30.

But the 2017 F1 calendar issued by the FIA last month lists Hockenheim as hosting the German GP for a second year in a row, raising hopes the clash can be avoided.

Buemi said he "can't believe there's no possibility to not have a clash" but pointed out the impact missing New York would have on his FE title bid would be determined by which of his fellow drivers were also absent.

His title rival from last season Lucas di Grassi told Autosport it was not clear which he would prioritise because he did not know what his 2017 programme would be.

The Brazilian drives for the Abt Audi Sport team in FE and has been a full-time member of the Audi LMP1 programme for the past three seasons.

He suggested he would choose whichever series he was performing better in because Audi's increased involvement in FE meant both now "have the same priority".

"Worst case scenario is you're fighting for both championships," said di Grassi, who is optimistic he will continue in WEC and FE.

"If I'm fighting for both titles we'll sit down with the team and discuss what I should do."

Venturi's Stephane Sarrazin (who drives the sister Toyota to Buemi's in the WEC), Dragon Racing driver Loic Duval (di Grassi's Audi team-mate) and DS Virgin Racing's Sam Bird (part of the Ferrari GTE Pro line-up) are the other FE drivers currently on a full-time WEC programme.

It is unknown what that trio of drivers will do.

Sarrazin, like Buemi, could miss the WEC race without Toyota needing to draft in a replacement as they could compete with two drivers.

Di Grassi and Duval share the #8 Audi with Oliver Jarvis so the German manufacturer would need to replace one of them, although it has several drivers with LMP1 experience racing in other categories.

Bird shares the #71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE in WEC with Davide Rigon, so the Italian team would also need to find a substitute.

shares
comments
Formula E puts €25million price on 12th entry slot

Previous article

Formula E puts €25million price on 12th entry slot

Next article

Formula E Hong Kong: Vergne fastest in free practice for Teechetah

Formula E Hong Kong: Vergne fastest in free practice for Teechetah
Load comments
How Mercedes and De Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way Plus

How Mercedes and De Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way

When Nyck de Vries dominated the first race of what would be the most controversial and unpredictable Formula E season to date, it looked as though Mercedes was in for a cakewalk. But as the campaign wore on, the path to a title double became increasingly rocky. Neither driver or team would be assured of the crown until the closing stages of the very final race on a weekend of struggle in Berlin

The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep its original missionary winning Plus

The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep its original missionary winning

OPINION: The departure of Audi from Formula E meant its long-time driver Lucas di Grassi would need to find a new berth to stay on the grid. His deal at Venturi Racing will ensure the championship's first-ever race winner will remain competitive into the final year of the current Gen2 ruleset - although it may not be a long-term fit

Formula E
Sep 15, 2021
The problems laid bare by Mercedes' impending Formula E departure Plus

The problems laid bare by Mercedes' impending Formula E departure

Mercedes' planned withdrawal from Formula E at the end of the 2022 season will contribute to the big hole left by fellow automotive manufacturers Audi and BMW on their departures. Although the team may stick around under a different guise, the exit of the now-reigning teams' champion underlines FE's current issues...

Formula E
Aug 18, 2021
The F1 dilemma facing Mercedes' new world champion Plus

The F1 dilemma facing Mercedes' new world champion

After clinching the Formula E title at the Berlin finale, Nyck de Vries is a driver in demand. Although Mercedes would love to keep a reigning champion at the team, the allure of a Williams F1 drive may be too much for de Vries to ignore should a potential deal come to pass

Formula E
Aug 17, 2021
How de Vries claimed Formula E title glory as Mercedes exit bombshell looms Plus

How de Vries claimed Formula E title glory as Mercedes exit bombshell looms

As Formula E lined up to complete its seventh season at Berlin's Tempelhof Airport, all eyes were on who would be its first official FIA world champion. Despite Nyck de Vries' title lead heading into the weekend looking all but secure, the Dutchman held on - and enjoyed a good dollop of fortune - to secure a championship double for Mercedes

Formula E
Aug 16, 2021
Why a brutal title defence can still yield another Formula E crown Plus

Why a brutal title defence can still yield another Formula E crown

It hasn't been properly reflected by the points table, but Antonio Felix da Costa has been nigh-on flawless in his Formula E title defence in 2021. Returning to the scene of his Berlin dominance in 2020, he has the chance to set the record straight and claim a remarkable against-the-odds second title

Formula E
Aug 12, 2021
Why Audi was right and wrong in Formula E's loophole row Plus

Why Audi was right and wrong in Formula E's loophole row

OPINION: With Audi's Formula E exit imminent, it had nothing to lose in London by attempting to vault Lucas di Grassi into the lead by pitting him under the safety car. Scorn directed at the team for putting glory before ethics should instead be pointed at a rulebook that allowed such a move in the first place

Formula E
Jul 27, 2021
Why Formula E's London return delivered anarchy in the UK Plus

Why Formula E's London return delivered anarchy in the UK

Formula E landed for a London E-Prix for the first time since 2016, at the indoor-outdoor circuit around the ExCeL. Featuring the birth of renewed title pushes, a long-awaited maiden win and the second race's controversy, the round proved to be an exhibition of the electric series' anarchic nature

Formula E
Jul 26, 2021