Toyota’s Sebastien Buemi has credited his engineers for coming up with a workaround to a fuel flow issue that allowed him to ultimately finish second at Le Mans.
During the race, both Toyotas began suffering from fuel flow problems that meant that they were not able to complete their scheduled fuel stints of twelve laps.
While both cars eventually began suffering from the problem, the #8 car got the issue first and suffered the most, with the car even coming to a halt on the track on Sunday morning.
Toyota was eventually able to manage the issue without bringing the two cars into the garage, allowing for a third one-two finish for the marque in four years.
Buemi explained that the workaround Toyota’s engineers found for the issue was far from easy for the drivers.
“During braking, we had to press three buttons. Per braking. For five hours,” he said. “So I can tell you we were happy to get out of the car. Completely drained.”
“I mean, hats off to the engineers, because what they found obviously saved us completely. Otherwise we would have not made it. We would have lost the race. “It was amazing what they what they came up with.”
“It’s gonna be a little bit complicated,” he continued, mimicking his engineer’s radio call.
“Either we are going lose the race, or we try that thing that is kind of complicated. I’m not sure it’s gonna work, but we tried it. And then it started to work and we did it for the whole race.”
The fix found on Buemi’s car was eventually beneficial when the same problem also started occuring on the sister car, which was leading the race at the time.
“It affected us more and it was stronger on our car. And it happened earlier. But we found the fix ad then once they started to have the issue, we had to prepard the fix already. So they were able to obviously use the fix before they got into big trouble like us.”
“At some point I could do only three laps, I could do a stint of three laps. And then by the time they had the issue, Like I said, we had that kind of fix, which was a tough one. To press a lot of buttons was not easy.”
Toyota ‘got lucky’ with turn one incident
Buemi also commented on the collision that he suffered on the opening lap thanks to Glickenhaus’ Olivier Pla, who tagged the Toyota into a spin under wet conditions at turn one.
According to Buemi, the team was lucky not to suffer any bodywork damage from the hit, and the car was soon back up to pace, eventually setting the fastest lap in the hands of Brendon Hartley.
“You can argue maybe took it a bit too easy,” Buemi said of Pla. “He locked up the front and became a bit of a passenger.”
“We got lucky. He just hit us in the wheel and not in the bodywork. Because you know, when you damaged the bodywork, you have to stop to repair or you drive with damaged bodywork and you lose a lot of downforce but in the end we lost nothing.”