24 Sep 20
29 Jul 20
Nissan e.dams' Sebastien Buemi is a realist, aware he's some 40 points shy of the current standings leader, but with unique circumstances awaiting in Berlin, he's sure it's far from done for him yet...
The opening throes of the 2019/20 Formula E season didn't quite go to plan for the Swiss driver, it's probably fair to say.
To-date, he's just a single podium to his name - earned in Mexico City - and he finds himself down in 11th spot in the Drivers' standings, almost 40 points back from Antonio Felix da Costa whose DS Techeetah currently tops the tally.
The Swiss driver is no stranger to comebacks though. He was 13th in the championship heading into the final five rounds last season.
A storming run of four consecutive podiums, with victory in New York for good measure, saw him mount a real challenge, just falling short to finish runner-up to champion Jean-Eric Vergne at the last race.
"Obviously, I would like to have more points on the board right now," started Buemi. "I had an accident in Saudi whilst running second and was disqualified in Santiago having finished sixth.
"With those points, I would be second or third in the championship but it's unfortunately the way it is right now.
"I'm hoping to string together a good run of races in Berlin and if I do, anything's a possibility for us. I'm realistic - I realise the probability of coming out of Tempelhof as champion is quite low.
"It's not going to be easy to cut the points deficit, but we saw last year that things can turn around very quickly in Formula E and suddenly, you can start racking up a lot of points. I was 13th after Paris and finished second."
The nearest approximation Buemi could offer as to what he believes awaits the 12 teams and 24 drivers in Tempelhof from August 5 is from his days in karting, with competitions taking place in such close succession.
He did say, however, like the rest of the field, he's yet to experience anything approaching the intensity of the nine-day six-race half-season cued up in Berlin in his professional career.
"There's nothing I can remember that's like this," added the 31-year-old. "Le Mans is a full week and you drive almost every day, but it's not racing.
"This will be back-to-back races without breaks and for me, it's going to be very difficult and very new from the perspective of the driver and everyone involved with the team."
On the challenges of setup given the trio of layouts - one per double-header at Tempelhof - Buemi indicates that despite a good base of information, adaptations will be necessary to optimise the car for running the circuit in reverse and on the new, third track.
"There's no reason things will be completely different," says Buemi. "Energy management, however, will change because you have to distribute the energy across the circuit in a different way. The circuit will seem familiar across the three layouts but optimisations will be necessary.
"I have no experience of it, nor does any driver, but our engineers have already been working since the announcement last week to their fullest capacity. Hopefully when we get there, we'll have a good setup. Let's wait and see!"
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