Winning Toyota ‘copy/paste’ set-up of sister car in Bahrain

This set-up change was intended to resolve the tire degradation issues Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley faced during the six-hour event in Bahrain last weekend, allowing them to finish the season with the same number of wins as Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez and Mike Conway in the other Toyota.

However, the result was not enough for them to take the drivers’ title, as the crew of the #7 car only had to finish the race with 70% distance covered to defend their crown after pole position in Friday’s qualifying closed the gap between the two cars to 16 points.

“We did what we call a copy/paste,” explains Buemi. “Basically, we took over the set-up from car #7 just to make sure we don’t have that kind of relegation again and it was clearly the right choice.

“In the first stint I was behind the sister car and the Alpine. I’ve decided to save energy and with experience in Formula E it’s a little easier.

“We went one lap longer, it was early in the race, but you never know what can happen. Sometimes you miss the full course yellow with only one lap the full course yellow.

“By doing that extra lap, we opened up the opportunity to stop under full course yellow. And then I think we just had a good pace.

“We were just a little faster because we lost over 15 seconds to the sister car in the pit stop during the race, so I think we had a bit more speed on the track.

“I am of course happy with the result. I think they deserve champions because they have done better this year, congrats on car #7. ”

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Conway held the lead going into the second hour of the race on the #8 Toyota driven by Buemi, having again passed Nicolas Lapierre’s fast-loading Alpine A480 on lap 8.

But Conway was ordered to let Buemi through as part of Toyota’s rules of engagement, with the #8 Toyota being the fastest of the two GR010 Hybrids during the first two stints of the race.

This marked a turning point for Buemi, Nakajima and Hartley, who were unable to challenge their teammates on the same track a week ago after suffering severe tire degradation.

Kobayashi said the #8 Toyota had the option of using his car’s set-up from the previous weekend, but chose to follow its own course – before finally finishing 8 Hours in Bahrain.

“As Seb said, this time car #8 did a copy/paste for lap 6. After lap 5 in qualifying I advised the guys from car #8 to copy/paste our race set up and they refused in one way or another.

“But after lap 5 they realized it was better to copy/paste and they won the race. So this is what happened.

“Yes, this is teamwork. This is how we work and we try to do the best we can. We are very open about the layout.”

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