Hong Kong Grand Prix: Felix Rosenqvist wins the race on Sunday
Multiple crashes, Audi (almost) winning, standings, we have the details here…
If you thought Formula 1 was getting a bit boring, you need to switch over to its green cousin – Formula E – now in its fourth season and with closer racing than ever before.
Consisting of 10 teams and 20 drivers, Formula E is the most premiere, fully-electric single-seater street racing series in the world. With big names like DS-Virgin Racing, Jaguar, Audi, Renault and Mahindra spending millions, it isn’t hard to guess that many more, Porsche and Mercedes have already confirmed, will join this eco-friendly version of F1 in the future. With electric motors buzzing and a different style of pit stop – drivers get 37 seconds to swap cars – the opening weekend was quite a spectacle.
During the first race and on the very first lap, a crash sent the order into a tizzy. Andre Lotterer, while exiting the first chicane got stuck in the wall, which led to a multiple car pile up. In fact the stewards had to halt the race to untangle the cars. Upon resuming, Sam Bird of DS Virgin Racing crossed the chequered flag in 31:06.012 despite getting penalized for an inapt pit stop with a drive-through penalty. Following him, 11 seconds behind was Techeetah’s, Jean-Eric Vergne. He fought off a hard charging Nick Heidfield of Mahindra racing, who eventually claimed third.
The second race started with the safety car leading the pack and straight away Edoardo Mortara was leading after Rosenqvist made an error on turn 1 to lose his advantage from claiming pole position. With all the struggles and crashing, Audi’s Daniel Abt was able to triumph the Hong Kong Grand Prix at the end of 45 laps and almost gifted himself the perfect birthday present. Just when Abt was relishing his winning moments, the race officials stripped him of his title on technical grounds, which reads as follows - “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”, said FIA.
Audi’s bad luck proved to be a boon for Mahindra though. As Abt was disqualified from the race, Felix Rosenqvist, who had dropped down to 11th and finally claimed 2nd for Mahindra Racing was automatically promoted to the first position. “I feel we could have been even better, but for now, I’m happy to start the season like this. The pole position, win and fastest lap show that we can mount a serious challenge this year and that we’re ready to work hard and go for both championship titles.” says Rosenqvist. Trailing Felix were E. Mortara and M. Evan while Sam Bird who had topped the previous race finished fifth.