Formula E’s 50th e-prix since the championship’s creation in 2014 was won by Edoardo Mortara (Venturi Formula E Team/Michelin). Sam Bird (Envision Virgin Racing/Michelin) was first past the flag in Hong Kong but fell back to sixth after being handed a post-finish, five-second penalty. Second and third were Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler/Michelin) and Robin Frijns (Envision Virgin Racing).
Formula E celebrated its 50
The track was drying for the start of the race but painted road markings made the surface very slippery in places as the varied, shifting track conditions provided further evidence of the versatility of the Michelin Pilot Sport, the championship’s single, all-weather tyre.
Bird got away to a first class start but Alexander Sims (BMW I Andretti Motorsport) and Jean-Eric Vergne (DS Techeetah) went straight on at Turn 1, while Mahindra Racing’s Pascal Wehrlein and Jérôme d’Ambrosio both slammed into Felipe Nasr’s stricken car on Lap 2. The incident dropped the Indian outfit from the top of the Drivers’ and Teams’ standings.
It was a sorry weekend, too, for Nissan e.dams who lost Sébastien Buemi and Oliver Rowland, with the Briton retiring with a late crash.
With 33 minutes remaining, Bird relinquished first place with a ‘straight on’. His place was snapped up by André Lotterer (DS Techeetah) and the ensuing scrap between the two drivers saw them pull some seven seconds clear of the rest of the field.
There were three laps to go after the final safety car appearance (to clear the cars of Vandoorne and Rowland) but Lotterer’s rear-right tyre was caught and damaged by Bird’s front wing during a particularly late braking manoeuvre by the latter.
Although the Briton was first over the line, a six-second penalty dished out after the finish relegated the Envision Virgin Racing driver to sixth in the official standings.
Victor Mortara was joined on the podium by di Grassi and Frijns while, Daniel Abt (Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler), Felipe Massa (Venturi Formula E Team) rounded out the day’s top five.
Defending champion Vergne finished 13
Teams will stay in China for Round 6 of the 2019 ABB FIA Formula E Championship in Sanya on March 23.
Final positions – 2019 Hong Kong E-Prix:
1. Edoardo Mortara (Venturi Formula E Team/Michelin), 36 tours
2. Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler/Michelin), +0.988s
3. Robin Frijns (Envision Virgin Racing/Michelin), +1.536s
4. Daniel Abt (Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler/Michelin), +1.985s
5. Felipe Massa (Venturi Formula E Team/Michelin), +3.258s
6. Sam Bird (Envision Virgin Racing/Michelin), +3.306s
7. Mitch Evans (Panasonic Jaguar Racing/Michelin), +4.017s
8. Gary Paffett (HWA Racelab/Michelin), +4.368s
9. Oliver Turvey (NIO Formula E Team/Michelin), +5.624s
10. Antonio Felix da Costa (BMW I Andretti Motorsport/Michelin), +6.492s