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Image of the Turn 19 incident between Bird, Nato and Buemi at the London E-Prix

Formula E Exclusive: ‘Dangerous’ move from Buemi caused London E-Prix pile up says Bird

Bird found himself caught up in the Lap 34 melee

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The Turn 19 incident between Buemi and Nato set off a chain reaction that red flagged the race.

Sam Bird on track at the London E-Prix
Sam Bird was one of many cars caught up in the Turn 19 incident. (Image Credit: Hankook)

The incident occurred at Turn 19 in the closing stages of the race. The collision between Sebastien Buemi and Norman Nato left Sam Bird with nowhere to go. The Jaguar driver made contact with the rear of Nato’s Nissan. He was then tagged by the DS Penske of Stoffel Vandoorne. 

When asked by FormulaNerds to explain the incident, Sam Bird said, “I got lifted up by Stoffel [Vandoorne]. Seb [Buemi] was blocking, but blocking beyond anything that I’ve ever seen before because he had to slow down by about nine seconds a lap, which is, like, dangerous.” He added:  

“[It’s] dangerous for everybody behind. You’re going to cause a crash and that’s exactly what happened.” 

The Jaguar driver said he felt that Sebastien Buemi should receive a penalty for the role he played in the incident. “That’s my opinion,” said Bird. “It doesn’t matter, but that’s my opinion.” Bird stated that whether Buemi would receive a penalty “depends on what they [the stewards] want to do.”

“I feel like the stewarding this year hasn’t necessarily always been identical,” continued Bird. “It’s what we strive for, they do their best, and most of the time they’re very good. But sometimes I feel like things are a bit strange. I don’t know how this one will go.”

Nissan driver Norman Nato received a five-second penalty for his part in the incident, dropping Nato down from P4 to P9. Nissan has since stated its intention to appeal the decision. Also protesting a decision made by the stewards is Porsche, after António Félix da Costa was handed a hefty three-minute penalty.

In the midst of the Teams’ title fight

With Bird’s teammate Mitch Evans winning Saturday’s race, and Bird picking up solid points in P4, Jaguar now finds itself second in the Teams’ standings. They sit a mere two points behind customer-team Envision. When asked how the customer relationship with Envision might play into the title fight, Bird said it would make things “interesting”.  

“It makes it interesting going forwards as well,” said Bird, referring to the long-term outlook on the partnership between the two teams. 

For now, the focus is on winning the Teams’ Championship in the second half of the London E-Prix doubleheader. Bird stated that the team’s goal was to “try and beat Porsche and Envision, end of story”.

He continued, “We’ll give it everything we’ve got. It’ll be a super tight fight. There’s gonna be one team elated, two teams really disappointed,” said Bird. “It’s been a super close fight, and best of luck to everybody.” 

Featured Image Credit: Channel 4 Sport Youtube Channel

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