"A clear mistake on my part" - Formula E leader Wehrlein self-critical after Cape Town collision, Buemi complains
The Cape Town E-Prix of Formula E was over for Pascal Wehrlein after just a few meters. The Porsche factory driver misjudged his braking point in turn 9 and collided with Sebastien Buemi. While the Swiss ended up in the TecPro barrier after spinning but was still able to continue, Wehrlein had to retire with a broken suspension. Buemi hadert with the setback, Wehrlein gives himself self-critical..
Thereby it had looked good for Wehrlein before: After finishing both free practice sessions in the top ten, he moved into the duel stage for the third time this season with third place in his qualifying Group A. He did lose out to Nick Cassidy in the quarter-finals. However, the lap time he achieved was good enough for 6th place on the grid.
At the start, Wehrlein - mindful of the efficiency advantage of Porsche's powertrain - deliberately took a cautious approach and lost a place to Sebastien Buemi. Only a short time later, however, he made a serious error on braking and crashed into the rear of the Envision driver with the front wheels locked. The early end for the newly minted father.
"I made a mistake," Wehrlein admits visibly crestfallen to 'e-Formel.de'. "I braked a little too late and too hard and locked the wheels. Then I could no longer avoid the collision." The race stewards also saw it that way and pronounced a demotion of three grid positions against him in Sao Paulo after the race. Wehrlein also received two penalty points on his racing license.
Wehrlein: "A lot could definitely have been possible today"
"It's a painful day because a lot could definitely have been possible today," the world championship leader described further. "But these days exist - it was a clear mistake on my part. I'm sorry for the team and for my crew. We win together and we lose together. In Sao Paulo, we will attack again."
After all, main rival Jake Dennis also leaves South Africa without points after a drive-through penalty for underinflated tires, so Wehrlein continues to lead the overall standings by 18 points. The fact that he retained the world championship lead despite his retirement is of no consequence to him.
"No, I don't have a big eye on the championship yet," the German explained. "It's still very early in the season. For me, it's the individual result that counts at the moment. Of course, it's damage limitation today, but I don't want to pull myself up by that. I'll see what I can do better next time so that this doesn't happen again."
Buemi: "The second time I could have scored more points"
"I braked a little too late," his opponent in the accident, Sebastien Buemi, described the scene on lap 1 from his perspective to the Kolleg:innen of 'Auto Bild'. "Vergne in front of me braked earlier and I drove a little slower through the corner. But Pascal braked much too late. Too bad."
"I had the feeling in his onboard recording that he could have swerved to the right," Buemi says. From his point of view, the collision would not have been unavoidable. But then Wehrlein would probably have hit the wall instead of the Envision. He is therefore not angry with the German: "Then his race is also over."
"It was not a good weekend with the accidents yesterday and today," admits Buemi. "I really had a good car. It's a shame after I already lost 15 points in India because of a penalty. It's now the second time that I could have scored significantly more points. But the important thing is that you're fast - then it will work out at some point."
However, he takes a positive view of the fact that his teammate Nick Cassidy was once again on the podium in third: "It's a great result for the team, we're now second in the championship. Porsche remains first in the World Team Championship. The squad from Weissach was even able to extend its lead thanks to Antonio Felix da Costa's victory. "We know that we have a strong car," Wehrlein also sees and announces, "That we will come back strong is also clear."