A bizarre strategic blunder from the e.Dams-Renault team proved to be a huge talking point following yesterday’s race in Moscow, and it’s a mistake that could have huge repercussions in the championship fight for Sebastian Buemi.
Due to a number of safety reasons, the FIA require all teams to meet a minimum pit stop time. For Moscow, the minimum time was set to just 58 seconds, however the e.Dams-Renault team believed it to be 68 seconds. This caused both Prost and Buemi to lose out heavily during the pit stops.
Speaking during the race, Alain Prost was clearly frustrated by the incident: ‘Very clearly we planned to do a stop of 68 seconds. I don’t really know what happened, maybe it was just miscommunication in the team manager briefing. It was a mistake from us.’
Things got worse for Buemi, who despite recovering to finish 3rd, received a time penalty for an unsafe release. The penalty drops him down to 9th and gives him a mountain to climb with just two races of the championship left. He now sits 3rd in championship, 23 points behind Nelson Piquet Jr.
The tactical blunder will be of huge frustration to the e.Dams team, who have often had the fastest package at many of the races so far this season. Inconsistency from both the team and drivers has hurt their Drivers Championship challenge, although the team still leads the Team Standings.
Interesting, both Buemi and Prost have taken 2 pole position each, whilst championship leaders Lucas di Grassi and Nelson Piquet have failed to take even one. Whilst the pace is there for e.Dams-Renault, they are inconsistent in delivering when it counts.
Nico Prost also voiced his frustration after the race: ‘The team made a mistake and then I got stuck by Duran. It wasn’t a very good day’. Prost has now scored just 15 points since his win in Miami, effectively ending his championship challenge.