Felix Rosenqvist has provisionally won the second round of the 2017 FIA Formula E Championship in Hong Kong after on-track winner Daniel Abt was disqualified after the race for a technical infringement.
It was found that the FIA security stickers (barcodes) on the inverter and MGU units did not correspond with those declared on the Technical Passport provided by the competitor Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler for the event. The race results remain provisional subject to an appeal to the FIA International Court of Appeal by Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler against the Stewards´ Decision.
It was a thrilling climax to the E-Prix as race-long leader and rookie driver Edoardo Mortara spun out with just three laps to go as he was trying to set the fastest lap in the Venturi Formula E Team machine.
Mortara took the lead after pole-sitter Rosenqvist spun in his Mahindra Formula E Team car at the first corner on the opening lap. The race had started under safety car conditions because of fault with the start lights, but the mistake meant that Rosenqvist had to spend the 45 laps fighting his way through the pack.
Mortara, famed for his prowess on the fierce street circuit in Macau where two weeks ago he won the FIA GT World Cup, looked at home in his first ever Formula E weekend, and steadily opened out a gap to the chasing Abt.
Behind the Audi driver, Mitch Evans and Alex Lynn were pushing each in fourth and fifth in the opening laps, but while Evans maintained fourth place to the flag, Lynn dropped down to ultimately finish ninth.
Evan’s post-race promotion hands Panasonic Jaguar Racing its first podium in the FIA Formula E Championship.
Yesterday’s runner-up Jean-Eric Vergne fought his way from eighth on the grid to finish fourth ahead of yesterday’s winner Sam Bird. It was a hard charge for the DS Virgin Racing driver to come through from 14th on the grid to finish fifth.
Oliver Turvey, Maro Engel and Nico Prost finished in close quarters in sixth, seventh and eighth for NIO Formula E Team, Venturi and Renault e.dams respectively, with Prost’s team-mate Sebastien Buemi rounding out the top ten behind Lynn.
From facing backwards in the first corner, Rosenqvist ended up taking maximum points from the round having taken pole position, the win and the fastest lap.
Round three of the 2017/18 FIA Formula E Championship takes place in Marrakesh on 13 January.
Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing, said: “There’s been a lot of ups-and-downs all weekend, but I’m happy with taking away 29 points – for pole, winning the race and fastest lap – it’s a lot of points! But I feel sorry for Daniel as well, he won the race on track, but I don’t know the reason. It’s not the way you want to win and I don’t feel like I’ve won the race. But I’m happy with the points. Sometimes you’re happy and then you’re sad, like yesterday we were in P15 and turned it around – getting fastest lap but it got taken away, so there’s been a lot like that but I’ll take maximum points and third in the championship.”
Edoardo Mortara, Venturi Formula E, said: “It’s difficult to find the words actually after a race like that. It’s tough to swallow. We had the pace and managed the race from the beginning to the end. I was checking my energy consumption and the gap to Daniel the entire race and I guess at some point I wanted too much. Sometimes you need to admit it – you were too confident and I should have focussed on bringing home the win. We showed the others today we had the pace, and I’ll improve myself at the next races.”
Mitch Evans, Panasonic Jaguar Racing, said: “I’m proud to secure Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s first podium in Formula E. It’s bittersweet as Daniel is a good guy and a mate of mine. After a tough year in our first season, this is a great reward for the hard work of everyone in the team. Tonight we will celebrate this achievement together and then work hard to repeat it.”
2017 HKT Hong Kong E-Prix (Rd 2) – Provisional Race Results
1 – Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing, 50:05.084s (29)
2 – Edoardo Mortara, Venturi Formula E Team, +7.031s (18)
3 – Mitch Evans, Panasonic Jaguar Racing, +10.619s (15)
4 – Jean-Eric Vergne, TECHEETAH, +12.593s (12)
5 – Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing, +12.879s (10)
6 – Oliver Turvey, NIO Formula E Team, +14.199s (8)
7 – Maro Engel, Venturi Formula E Team, 15.676s (6)
8 – Nico Prost, Renault e.dams, +18.905s (4)
9 – Alex Lynn, DS Virgin Racing, +19.025s (2)
10 – Sebastien Buemi, Renault e.dams, +22.139s (1)
11 – Antonio Felix da Costa, Andretti Formula E, +23.359s
12 – Nelson Piquet Jr, Panasonic Jaguar Racing, +27.904s
13 – Andre Lotterer, TECHEETAH, +28.591s
14 – Lucas di Grassi, ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport, +39.137s15 – Jerome D’Ambrosio, DRAGON, +55.189s
16 – Nick Heidfeld, Mahindra Racing, +1 Lap
17 – Kamui Kobayashi, Andretti Formula E, +1 Lap
18 – Neel Jani, DRAGON, +1 Lap
DNF – Luca Filippi, NIO Formula E Team, 36 Laps
DSQ – Daniel Abt, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, 45 Laps
Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing – 35
Jean-Eric Vergne, TECHEETAH – 33
Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing – 29
Edoardo Mortara, Venturi Formula E – 24
Nick Heidfeld, Mahindra Racing – 15
Mahindra Racing – 44
DS Virgin Racing – 41
TECHEETAH – 33
Venturi Formula E Team – 30
Panasonic Jaguar Racing – 27
Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler – 11
NIO Formula E Team – 9
Andretti Formula E – 8
Renault e.dams – 7
DRAGON – 0
*Subject to an appeal to the FIA International Court of Appeal by Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler against the Stewards´ Decision to disqualify Car no. 66
FIA press release