Mortara wins Hong Kong E-Prix after Bird receives penalty

11th Mar 2019 3:20 pm

Sam Bird was stripped of the victory after being handed a five second post-race penalty for making contact with Lotterer.

Edoardo Mortara clinched Venturi’s first-ever Formula E race victory, winning the drama-filled Hong Kong E-Prix after Sam Bird was handed a five second penalty for his late-race contact with Andre Lotterer.

The attrition-heavy race saw just 14 drives make it past the finish line, and the first set of retirements took place just a few minutes in when Felipe Nasr’s damaged Dragon car ran into the wall on Turn 2 and both Mahindra Racing drivers – Pascal Wehrlein and Jerome d’Ambrosio – then collided with his car, taking all three drivers out of the race. Mahindra Racing had enjoyed a string of successful results and was leading the teams’ standings before the race, however, the double retirement delivered a blow to the team’s championship standing and they’ve now dropped to third overall.

The incident triggered a red flag, but the field had already changed up quite a bit before then – Oliver Rowland took the lead at the start, Bird gained five places and was up to 2nd after passing polesitter Stoffel Vandoorne. Bird then moved into the lead once the race re-started after Rowlandslowed down and dropped to 10th place. However, he didn’t hold on to that lead for long as Lotterer took advantage of his wide line around Turn 2 to overtake him. The two then spent much of the race nose-to-tail; Bird even managed to briefly pass Lotterer, only for the latter to reclaim the lead soon after.

The second half of the race saw two safety car periods – the first one was deployed when Sebastian Buemi retired from the race after damaging the front left wheel of his car, and was followed by Vandoorne, whose car suffered a technical failure and stopped on track. Soon after the race was re-started, Rowland’s car stopped on track after making contact with the wall, bringing out the safety car once again. This bunched up the field, making it a dog fight for the win once the race was re-started with just over two minutes on the clock.

Bird continued chase down Lotterer and the two ended up making contact on the penultimate lap when Bird nudged the back of Lotterer’s car. The incident resulted in Lotterer’s car suffering a punctured tyre and broken rear suspension, and he ultimately limped past the finish line in 14th place. Following a post-race investigation, Bird was handed a five-second penalty for the incident, stripping him of his race victory and dropping him down to 6th place.

This handed the race victory to Mortara, who managed to fend off Lucas di Grassi, despite the latter having the advantage of the attack mode. Robin Frijns rounded up the top three, handing Virgin Racing enough points to move to the top of the teams’ standings.

Results

POS

DRIVER

TEAM

CAR

LAPS

GAP

1

Edoardo Mortara

Venturi

Venturi

36

59m36.119s

2

Lucas di Grassi

Audi

Audi

36

0.988s

3

Robin Frijns

Virgin

Audi

36

1.536s

4

Daniel Abt

Audi

Audi

36

1.985s

5

Felipe Massa

Venturi

Venturi

36

3.258s

6

Sam Bird

Virgin

Audi

36

3.306s

7

Mitch Evans

Jaguar

Jaguar

36

4.017s

8

Gary Paffett

HWA

Venturi

36

4.368s

9

Oliver Turvey

NIO

NIO

36

5.624s

10

Antonio Felix da Costa

BMW

BMW

36

6.492s

11

Jose Maria Lopez

Dragon

Penske

36

7.218s

12

Tom Dillmann

NIO

NIO

36

7.825s

13

Jean-Eric Vergne

DS Techeetah

DS

36

16.604s

14

Andre Lotterer

DS Techeetah

DS

36

24.270s

-

Oliver Rowland

e.dams

Nissan

29

Retirement

-

Stoffel Vandoorne

HWA

Venturi

20

Retirement

-

Sebastien Buemi

e.dams

Nissan

19

Retirement

-

Alexander Sims

BMW

BMW

16

Retirement

-

Felipe Nasr

Dragon

Penske

1

Retirement

-

Pascal Wehrlein

Mahindra

Mahindra

1

Retirement

-

Jerome d'Ambrosio

Mahindra

Mahindra

1

Retirement

-

Nelson Piquet Jr.

Jaguar

Jaguar

0

Retirement

 

 

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