Sebastien Buemi has been forced to withdraw from the second race of the Diriyah E-Prix after sustaining chassis damage in a qualifying crash.
The Envision Racing driver locked up on the approach to Turn 1 towards the end of the session, carrying on straight into the barrier. Buemi was uninjured in the shunt, but qualifying was delayed as repairs to the barrier were carried out.
While Buemi was initially expected to race, from 11th on the grid, an inspection by the FIA deemed his car unsafe, prompting the Jaguar customer team to withdraw him from the race.
“Envision Racing can confirm the withdrawal of Sebastien Buemi’s No. 16 car from Round 3 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship,” the team said in a statement. “Following damage sustained during qualifying, the FIA have examined the chassis and determined that it is not safe to start. The team will now focus on Robin Frijns’ No. 4 car as he starts from the front row in Diriyah.”
Frijns will start the 36-lap race from second on the grid alongside Nissan driver Oliver Rowland.
Saturday night’s race will mark the first time Formula E veteran Buemi has been absent from the grid since the New York City doubleheader in 2016-17, when he was driving for the Renault e.Dams team. Buemi had World Endurance Championship commitments for Toyota at the Nurburgring on the same weekend, and Pierre Gasly filled in for him on that occasion.