Taking over the spot the spot left by Renault e.dams put some expectations in how the newcomers could do in Formula E, but Nissan surely passed the test, achieving good results, podiums, and even a win in their first season in the fully-electric championship.
Sebastien Buemi, a Formula E champion himself with Renault and a key driver on their three teams’ championship winning campaigns, was initially supposed to partner with Alex Albon, who later departed for Formula 1. In replacement came Britain’s Oliver Rowland, whose only Formula E race had been the 2015 Punta del Este E-Prix.
The team struggled with consistency issues: they had good qualifying pace but during the race, they could not match the performance – and on at least two occasions, in Santiago and Paris, the team crashed out from the lead of the race.
Towards the middle of the season, Nissan e.dams found their pace, and good results did not take time to come. Both Rowland and Buemi proved to be strong qualifiers, and were able to grab several points and podiums. The cherry on top came at the first round of the New York City E-Prix Buemi had a lights-to-flag win that helped the team secure a solid fourth place in the Teams’ Championship.
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Teams’ Championship position 4th (190 points)
Drivers’ Championship position Sebastien Buemi – 2nd (119 points); Oliver Rowland – 10th (71 points)
#22 – Sebastien Buemi
The Swiss driver came from a winless season and was eager to have good results once again. His first Pole Position was already in the third race of the season, in Santiago, but he had collected points in the two previous races.
Although Nissan experienced some consistency issues at the beginning of the season, Buemi was able to overcome those problems, continuing to score points, and capping off his Berlin E-Prix weekend with a podium. He repeated the feat in Bern. At that point, the Swiss had chances –though slim, to fight for the drivers’ championship.
When the fully-electric championship raced across the pond, Buemi managed to put his car on Pole Position and later take the win of the first race, while finishing on the podium the following day. The good points he had in the bag throughout the season helped him to finish second overall in the Drivers’ Championship.
#23 – Oliver Rowland
The Brit had an impressive first full season in Formula E. Having only taken part in one race in Season 2, and only testing the car in pre-season Valencia in the wet for one day, expectations were perhaps lower for Rowland than Buemi due to the limited testing. Despite not scoring points for a few races after the season opener in Saudi Arabia, Rowland rocketed his Nissan e.dams car to Pole Position in Sanya, where he got his first podium in the series.
He went on to score two more pole positions in Paris and Monaco, finishing in the podium in the latter. His good performances also allowed Rowland to score important points for the drivers’ and teams’ Championship – he finished within the points in six out of thirteen races.
He capped off the season entering the top 10 in the drivers’ championship, with a total of 71 points, not bad for a driver making his first steps in Formula E.