Following another chaotic virtual race in the ABB Formula E Race at Home Challenge in support of UNICEF, we catch up with Sebastien Buemi and race winner Max Guenther about how to steer clear of damage in the sim race.
"Damage is something you always need to consider," said BMW i Andretti Motorsport's Max Guenther, moments after finishing first in the first point-scoring round of the ABB Formula E Race at Home Challenge. "This was very different to last week," he added.
Following the test race last week, the damage levels during the sim races were increased from 20 per cent to 80, meaning crashes and smashes would drastically affect the performance of the car, just like in real-world racing. That, combined with the tight and technical Hong Kong Harbourfront circuit, the stakes were high for our Race at Home challengers.
"It wasn't an easy race," said the Guenther. "Even though it's not the real world, we're all competitive and we want to be at the front," added the BMW driver with a smile.
"I kept the car clean without any contact and I could control that from the front. But if you're fighting, it really can make a big difference.
Just one week ago, Guenther transferred his real-world success to the simulator after clinching Pole and first place in the test race in Monaco. Following an epic start to the 2019/20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship where he claimed his first victory as well as a second-place finish, the young German driver is already on his way to being a Race at Home Challenge title contender after he claimed the first points with a win in round one.
But it wasn't just our race winner who struggled to keep out of danger. Former champion and Formula E veteran Sebastien Buemi (Nissan e.dams) is no stranger to wheel-to-wheel combat. Despite a Formula E career dating back to the first race, the Swiss driver found it difficult to steer clear of danger during the sim showdown.
"It was really tough," said Buemi. "When I'm not at the front, I'm not enjoying it so much!" he added smiling.
After missing the test event, Buemi was thrown into the deep end: "I was learning. The first few laps are difficult because the damage is up, so you try to survive without damaging your car.
"But in the first two corners, I damaged the car massively and then I had to survive - you end up being very slow. You just need to survive the first two laps until it settles in and then hopefully you manage to overtake a few guys," revealed the seasoned Nissan e.dams driver.
Published on 27th April 2020