Edoardo Mortara inherited his first-ever Formula E victory in Hong Kong after Sam Bird was handed a time penalty for causing a collision with Andre Lotterer on the penultimate lap.
Bird and Lotterer were locked in a race-long duel. Seconds separated the pair throughout the duration of the entire E-Prix. As the clock counted down, Bird made a lunge for the lead into Turn 2 and made contact with the rear of Lotterer.
Despite the hit from behind Lotterer held position and managed to keep Bird at bay
But Lotterer soon started to slow after suffering a puncture from the earlier contact – leaving him limping home and eventually coming to a stop out on track.
This allowed Bird to swoop in front and take the chequered flag. However, Bird was later denied his second victory of the season after being issued with a five-second penalty – dropping him to sixth position.
Mortara is therefore elevated to first place – marking a maiden win for the Swiss driver and a first victory for VENTURI Formula E Team
Mortara progressed up the field from sixth on the grid to claim his second consecutive podium finish on the road. He was third last time out in Mexico City.
It was another Venturi-powered car that led away from the front. Stoffel Vandoorne set the fastest lap in wet conditions to secure Julius Baer pole position and get HWA RACELAB off the mark with three points.
Vandoorne maintained the trend this season of no driver converting pole into victory. There were damp patches and puddles out on track. Thus Oliver Rowland beat Vandoorne off the line. But it didn’t last long as Rowland briefly slowed and dropped down the order.
Bird jumped to the head of the pack
However, he soon relinquished the lead to Lotterer after locking-up in the slippery braking zone of Turn 2. Proceedings were brought to a standstill after a coming together between Felipe Nasr and the two MAHINDRA RACING drivers.
Nasr was struggling to slow the car with damaged bodywork. He went into the wall at Turn 2, with Pascal Wehrlein and Jerome D’Ambrosio close behind and following him to the scene of the accident. The red flag halted running in order to clear the cars. The race later restarted behind the BMW i safety car.
With changes to the classification, Lucas di Grassi was promoted to second
Bird’s team-mate Robin Frijns rounded-out the podium places for Envision Virgin Racing. Despite losing out on maximum points, Bird moves to the top of the standings. He got an extra point for fastest lap.
With yet another different winner and only two points between the top-four drivers, Formula E returns to mainland China for the inaugural race in Sanya. Round six of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship will take place on March 23.