Sebastien Buemi is a racing driver from Switzerland who spent three seasons in the world's premier single seater competition - Formula One World Championship, but achieved the greatest success in other global championships.
In 2014, he was the winner of the FIA World Endurance Championship with Toyota and then in season 2015/2016 he won the Formula E Championship with Renault e.dams. In the 2018-2019 FIA WEC super season, he triumphed two times at 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Toyota TS050 Hybrid and closed the season as the world champion.
Start of the career in Formula BMW
Sebastien Buemi was born in Aigle, a small town in the Vaud canton, Switzerland, on October, 31, 1988. After a couple of years of competing in karting, Buemi moved up to German Formula BMW.
During the two years in the competition, Buemi finished on third and second place respectively but was also a runner-up in the 2005 World final.
Battles with Grosjean in Formula 3 and GP2 Series
The next stop for the Swiss racer was Formula 3 Euroseries. In 2006, he was 12th overall while in the following season, as a driver of Mucke Motorsport, he did much better. Sebastien took second place, 11 points behind the champion Romain Grosjean.
In the meantime, Buemi also competed in A1 Grand Prix, in which he finished 8th with A1 Team Switzerland. In 2007, Sebastien made his debut in GP2 Series with ART Grand Prix, but without success as he finished 21st after scoring only six points in 11 races.
In the following year, Buemi made huge progress in GP2 Series. He won two races as a driver of Arden team and finished 6th in the championship. He did even better in the GP2 Asia Series where he finished the season as a vice-champion, again behind Romain Grosjean. In 2008, Swiss driver was announced as a test and reserve driver for the Red Bull racing Formula 1 team. Interestingly enough, for the F1 Japanese Grand Prix, Buemi took a role of the medical car driver because the regular driver was ill.
Test driver in Red Bull Racing F1 team
In 2009, Buemi signed a contract with Red Bull Racing’s sister team Toro Rosso. He became the first Swiss driver in Formula 1 after Jean-Denis Deletraz. In his first season, Sebastien collected six points from 17 starts to finish 16th overall in the Drivers’ championship. His best results were 7th place in Australia and Brazil.
Three years in Toro Rosso
The following year Buemi scored eight points and again was 16th overall. In 2010, his best result was 8th place at Canadian Grand Prix. The season of 2011 was his last year in Formula 1 as a regular driver and his best so far. He earned 15 points to finish 15th overall, with 8th place in Australia and Hungary as the most notable results. Buemi then lost his seat in Formula 1 but rejoined Red Bull as their test and reserve pilot.
A switch to sportscar racing in 2012
In 2012, Buemi switched to sportscars racing. He signed a contract with Toyota to drive at 24 Hours of Le Mans, alongside Anthony Davidson and Stephane Sarrazin, but they retired after a crash on lap 82. For the 2013 campaign, he continued with Toyota, this time as a full-time driver in the FIA World Endurance Championship. With the same teammates, he did very well to finish second at Le Mans and third in the championship.
World endurance champion in 2014
Successful cooperation continued in 2014 when Buemi and Davidson partnered with Nicolas Lapierre in the first half of the season. They all drove perfectly and were crowned as WEC champions. They won four of eight races and scored a total of 166 points, leaving Audi Sports Team Joest crew well behind. At Le Mans, Buemi was third.
In 2015, he continued to drive in WEC, alongside Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima but failed to repeat the success from the previous year as they finished 5th. Buemi stayed loyal to Toyota in 2016 and 2017. In 2016, he was 8th in the final points, without wins. In 2017, he won three races in the #8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid and finished second at Le Mans, staying in the title fight until the end of the season.
Two wins at Le Mans in the 2018-2019 FIA WEC super season
The trio in the #8 Toyota scored five wins in the 2018-2019 FIA WEC super season, including one more victory at Le Mans in June 2019. Such a performance brings Buemi his second FIA WEC title.
Video - Buemi show at Buenos Aires ePrix
13 wins, one championship title in five Formula E seasons
Parallel to his endurance racing career, Buemi was developing a career in the FIA Formula E Championship, participating from the inaugural season (2014-2015). In 2014, he was invited by e.dams Renault team to drive alongside Nicolas Prost in world's first electric racing competition. The Swiss racer immediately became one of the stars in the competition. He won three races during the season but missed the title as he was just a point behind Nelson Piquet Jr. For the 2015/2016 season, Buemi stayed with Renault e.dams and he won the title in a close fight against Lucas di Grassi. He was a race winner three times.
In the third Formula E season, Buemi has won six races but he missed out New York City's round and he was disqualified in two races, finishing in the second place of the final classification, behind Lucas di Grassi. In the fourth FE season with Renault e.dams, Buemi was without wins and he finished fourth in the points.
For the fifth Formula E season (2018-2019) Buemi joined Nissan of e.dams team. He waited for the first and only win in the season until the last round in New York, finishing the season as a vice-champion.