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Sebastien Buemi

31st October 1988 (Age 32)
Aigle, Vaud Canton
Most recent race (in database):

When Sébastien Buemi made his Formula 1 debut in the 2009 Australian Grand Prix, it marked the rapid rise for this young Swiss national. Three seasons and 55 races with Scuderia Toro Rosso included occasional visits to the top 10 but it is as a championship-winning sports car and Formula E racer that Buemi now plies his trade.

Early racing career

Always competitive but never a champion during his formative years, he spent 10 years in karts before making his car racing debut in 2004. That was in German Formula BMW and Buemi finished third behind new champion Sebastian Vettel. Runner-up to Nico Hülkenberg a year later when driving for Mücke Motorsport, Buemi only lost the title due to a retrospective penalty. He also finished second in the end-of-season World Finals in Bahrain, ironically after Hülkenberg was penalised for dangerous driving.

He graduated to the team’s Formula 3 Euroseries squad in 2006 and won at Oschersleben. Beaten to the 2007 title by Romain Grosjean despite three victories, he also made his GP2 debut at Monaco that year with the crack ART Grand Prix team and gained his first F1 experience when testing for Red Bull Racing.

Having enjoyed sponsorship from the Austrian energy drink during his junior career, Buemi was the team’s official test driver in 2008. He also drove the FIA medical car at that year’s Japanese GP when the regular incumbent (Dr Jacques Tropenat) fell ill. Buemi’s main focus was GP2 when representing Arden International in both the Asian and main series itself. He was a race winner in both and finished second in that new winter series when again beaten by Grosjean.

His best performance of the year came in the Magny-Cours sprint race when he started 21st but won after making the correct tyre choice on a drying track. Further success in Hungary helped Buemi to sixth in the championship and to confirm Red Bull’s choice of its next GP graduate.

Formula 1 with Scuderia Toro Rosso

The only F1 rookie in 2009, Buemi showed well early on by regularly out-qualifying his more experienced Toro Rosso team-mate Sébastien Bourdais until the Frenchman was replaced. He finished in a fine seventh position on his debut in Australia and repeated that result after qualifying sixth in Brazil. Unfortunately, the most memorable moment of his second season with the team was a 190mph accident in China when both front wheels flew off simultaneously.

Buemi scored a couple of eighth place finishes during 2011 but he was not retained for a fourth season. Instead, he joined Red Bull Racing as its reserve driver and Toyota for the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2012. Ultimately not needed by Red Bull, he was a contender in the Toyota until co-driver Anthony Davidson’s spectacular accident.

Success in the World Endurance Championship

Buemi remained with Toyota on a full-time basis in 2013 and finished second at Le Mans. He then won the end-of-season Bahrain Six Hours as he, Davidson and Stéphane Sarrazin clinched third in the championship.

Buemi and Davidson began the 2014 World Endurance Championship with Nicolas Lapierre sharing their Toyota TS040 Hybrid although the Frenchman left the team in September. They won four of the first six races but missed out at Le Mans once more – finishing third. Ending the season with no third driver, Buemi and Davidson clinched the world title with a round to spare.

They were joined by Kazuki Nakajima for the next two seasons but finished no higher than third. More frustratingly still, they came within minutes of winning the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours only for Nakajima to be stranded on the startline without power.

Buemi was Toyota’s leading contender during the 2017 World Endurance Championship and won five of the nine championship rounds. Crucially, the Buemi/Davidson/Nakajima Toyota TS050 Hybrid only finished eighth in the double points Le Mans 24 Hours having lost 29 laps in the pits and so finished as runners-up behind Porsche.

Toyota finally won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2018 with Buemi and Nakajima joined in the winning TS050 Hybrid by Fernando Alonso. Having already won at Spa-Francorchamps, the trio were disqualified after winning on the road at Silverstone. Second at Fuji and Shanghai at the end of the year, they won at Sebring and Spa-Francorchamps in 2019 before successfully defending their Le Mans title and clinching the 2018/19 World Endurance Championship.

Formula E Champion with e.DAMS

In addition to racing for Toyota, Buemi has been a star of the FIA Formula E Championship since its opening race in Beijing 2014. Driving for e.DAMS Renault, he won three times during that inaugural season and finished as runner-up to Nelson Piquet Jr.

He won three more races during the 2015/16 campaign but went one better in the final championship reckoning – surviving heavy contact with rival Lucas di Grassi in the final round in London’s Battersea Park to be crowned champion.

The protagonists for Formula E’s third season remained the same but the result was reversed. E.DAMS Renault’s Buemi won six of the first eight races of 2016/17 but was forced to miss the New York double-header due to the clashing Nürburgring 6 Hours. Consequently, Buemi entered the Montréal decider with a much reduced advantage and that meeting proved to be a disaster. He crashed during qualifying, was disqualified from race one due to an underweight car and finished race two outside the points to hand the title to di Grassi.

Buemi suffered his first winless Formula E campaign in 2017/18 when hampered by e.DAMS Renault’s lack of development and outright speed. He crashed into di Grassi at the opening round in Hong Kong before scoring four podium finishes, including converting pole position into a season-best second-place finish in Marrakesh. Buemi added further pole positions for both races at the New York finale but was only fourth in the final standings.

The team was rebranded as Nissan e.DAMS for 2018/19 and Buemi recovered from mid-season problems to win in New York and finish as runner-up behind Jean-Eric Vergne. He crashed out of the lead in Santiago due to a car issue and suffered a puncture in Paris when on course for another win. Furthermore, DAMS founder and Team Principal Jean-Paul Driot succumbed to a long illness shortly after the end of the Formula E season.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
2019/2020 World Endurance Championship
Toyota Gazoo Racing
8 1 8 2 202
2019/2020 ABB FIA Formula E Championship
Nissan e.DAMS
11 0 4 0
0% win rate
4th 84
2018/2019 World Endurance Championship
Toyota Gazoo Racing
8 4 7 5 1st 198
2018/2019 ABB FIA Formula E Championship
Nissan e.DAMS
13 3 4 1
8% win rate
2nd 119
2017/2018 FIA Formula E Championship
Renault e.DAMS
12 3 4 0
0% win rate
4th 125
2017 World Endurance Championship
Toyota Gazoo Racing
9 0 7 5 2nd 183
2016/2017 FIA Formula E Championship
Renault e.DAMS
10 2 6 6
60% win rate
2nd 157
2016 World Endurance Championship
Toyota Gazoo Racing
9 0 1 0 8th 60
2015/2016 FIA Formula E Championship
Renault e.DAMS
10 3 6 3
30% win rate
1st 155
2015 World Endurance Championship
Toyota Racing
8 0 1 0 5th 79
2014/2015 FIA Formula E Championship
Team e.DAMS
11 3 5 3
28% win rate
2nd 143
2014 World Endurance Championship
Toyota Racing
8 2 7 4 1st 166
2013 World Endurance Championship
Toyota Racing
8 0 4 1 3rd 106.25
2012 World Endurance Championship
Toyota Racing
1 0 0 0 0
2011 F1 World Championship
Scuderia Toro Rosso
19 0 0 0
0% win rate
15th 15
2010 F1 World Championship
Scuderia Toro Rosso
19 0 0 0
0% win rate
16th 8
2009 F1 World Championship
Scuderia Toro Rosso
17 0 0 0
0% win rate
16th 6
2008 GP2 Series
Arden International
19 (1) 0 5 2
11% win rate
6th 50
2008 GP2 Asia Series
Trust Team Arden
10 0 5 1
10% win rate
2nd 37
2007 GP2 Series
ART Grand Prix
11 0 0 0
0% win rate
21st 6
2007 F3 Euroseries
ASL Mucke Motorsport
20 2 13 3
15% win rate
2nd 95
2006/2007 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport
Team Switzerland
Max Motorsport
12 0 0 0
0% win rate
2006 F3 Euroseries
ASL Mucke Motorsport
20 0 3 1
5% win rate
12th 31