"Hope I'm strong enough" - Formula E start of Sebastien Buemi in Berlin in danger after hand fracture?
Sebastien Buemi has injured himself more severely than previously known in a collision with Maximilian Günther in Sao Paulo: As the Swiss confirmed to 'e-Formel.de', he broke his right hand in the accident on the second lap. Although the former Formula E champion was able to drive in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) last week, there is a question mark behind his start in Berlin. A decision is expected to be made on Friday evening.
Sebastien Buemi was seen in the Berlin paddock on Friday with a bandaged right hand: A consequence of the collision with Max Günther in the opening phase of the Sao Paulo E-Prix. The Swiss had hit the rear wheel of the Maserati and subsequently complained on the team radio of severe pain in his hand. Nevertheless, he drove the race to the end and even secured a world championship point with 10th place.
"It's broken, unfortunately, and still hurts," Buemi described on the 'e-Formel.de' microphone. "I drove last week with the WEC in Portimao. It was okay there."
In his opinion, however, no conclusions can be drawn from this as to whether it is possible to use it in the Formula E race. For that, he said, the Toyota hypercar is technically far too different from the Gen3 cars.
"You steer the car," he said.
"You steer a little less in the WEC," the Swiss driver describes. "The power steering helps, of course. Here, it could be a completely different story. I hope I'm strong enough to race this weekend."
Formula E apparently plans adjustments: "They will try something"
Buemi thus becomes the second driver, after Robin Frijns (ABT Cupra), to have broken his hand in a collision. In Buemi's opinion, Formula E needs to make adjustments to the steering: "Yes, one hundred percent," he confirms. "It's clear now. I'm just the driver, of course, but I know they will try something. Of course it not easy to change something now."
"We have to go into great detail there as to why the injuries are happening. If we know the cause, we can find solutions," described Alberto Longo, Formula E's chief championship officer, but there is no short-term adjustment in sight. "Definitely not before season 11, so until the evolution of the car."
"But that shouldn't have any safety implications," Longo continues. "Of course, there were some negative consequences for some of the drivers in the accidents. But safety is above everything for us and for the FIA, and this car is homologated."
Officially, Envision has not announced a replacement driver for this season. However, according to information from 'e-Formel.de', the team has access to replacement drivers from powertrain supplier Jaguar.
Joel Eriksson is available, but is currently at the Nürburgring. This is where the qualifying race for the 24-hour race is taking place this weekend, where the Swede is scheduled to compete for Falken Motorsports in a Porsche 911 GT3. In an emergency, however, Eriksson could follow up with a trip to Berlin.
First, however, Buemi will contest the 1st free practice session on Friday evening at 5 pm. A decision on the further deployment of the Swiss is to be made afterwards.