The Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler driver was denied his first-ever win in Formula E on his 25th birthday following a post-race penalty, which found that the FIA security stickers (barcodes) on the inverter and MGU units didn’t correspond with those declared on the technical passport provided by the competitor for the event.
The result remains provisional subject to an appeal to the FIA International Court of Appeal by Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, against the stewards’ decision to disqualify Abt from the race.
Abt pumped his fist as he crossed the finish-line, only to be stripped of victory hours later. The German chased debutant Edoardo Mortara for the majority of the race and inherited the lead with just two laps to go after the Venturi driver spun at Turn 2.
Street circuit specialist Mortara put on an impressive display in only his second-ever E-Prix, but made a mistake pushing too hard to obtain the extra point for Visa Fastest Lap. He quickly recovered after pirouetting into the run-off area and re-joined to finish in a disappointing third – later promoted to second.
Rosenqvist led the field from the start behind the Qualcomm Safety Car as a hardware issue caused the start-lights not to come on. However, the Mahindra Racing driver didn’t utilise his advantage of avoiding a standing start and carried too much speed into the first corner, spinning in the process with the entire field facing him.
Unable to get back on the racing line with a stampede of cars approaching, Rosenqvist had to wait patiently for an opportunity to safely join the queue. The Swede slowly made his way back through the field and benefitted from the movers and shakers ahead of him to claim the maximum points on offer – with the additional points for Julius Baer pole position and Visa fastest lap.
Despite not being able to stand on the top step – Rosenqvist will take it as it comes, as will Mitch Evans who made history with a first podium finish in Formula E for Panasonic Jaguar Racing and a return to the podium for Jaguar in motorsport for the first time in 15 years.
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’ve 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.”
– Twice as nice; Felix Rosenqvist’s win in Hong Kong marks his second career victory – after picking-up a maiden win in Berlin last year.
– Making history; Mitch Evans secured third place in Hong Kong, making it Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s first podium since joining Formula E – as well as Jaguar’s first podium in motorsport since 2002.
– Double trouble; It’s the first time Lucas di Grassi has failed to pick-up points in two consecutive races – leaving Hong Kong without a point to his name.
– Close competition; The top-eight places on the starting grid were comprised of eight different teams – highlighting the competitiveness of the cars across the board.
Source. Formula E/Photo. LAT Formula E