This weekend’s second race in Hong Kong proved just as dramatic as the first, with Daniel Abt being stripped of his, and his teams, maiden Formula E win. This handed Felix Rosenqvist his second win.
This will be a birthday to forget for Daniel Abt. He was granted the race win after the leader, Edoardo Mortara, spun off the track while pushing for the crown of fastest lap.
However, post-race inspection found Abt’s Audi breached both technical and sporting regulations and he was disqualified from the race.
While celebrating his short-lived victory, Abt stated that “this kind of stuff never happens to me…but it happened today”.
After fighting hard for pole position, Felix Rosenqvist spun on the first corner, sending him back down to 11th, and handed Mortara his lead.
Mortara expertly managed his power levels and was able to pit for his second car before rejoining the track in the lead. But an on-track spin a few laps before the end undid Mortara’s hard work.
Post-race, Mortara emotionally explained “I wanted too much and I made a stupid mistake.”
Abt’s disqualification promoted Felix Rosenqvist to first place and Mortara to a respectablr second place. Mitch Evans’ promotion to third gives Jaguar their first podium in Formula E.
“I’m proud to secure Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s first podium in Formula E.” Evans explained. “It’s bittersweet as Daniel is a good guy and a mate of mine.”
Jean-Eric Vergne is promoted to fourth after the previous day’s podium. Sam Bird, winner from race one, was promoted to fifth. These extra points keep him at the top of the championship standings.
Abt’s disqualifying provided Sebastian Buemi with a single point by promoting him to 10th place. This will evidently be a weekend that last years championship rival will want to forget. However, last year’s champion, Luscas di Grassi, is yet to score a point.
Buemi’s post-race comments were unsurprisingly brief, simply stating that “there’s nothing more to say, it’s been a very bad weekend for us.”
This disqualification is Audi’s third lost win, after di Grassi was stripped of his win in Berlin (2014/15) and Mexico City (2015/16). However, the team have announced their desire to appeal the decision.
But it wasn’t their only issue of the weekend, as they were fined €5,000 for allowing members of their team on to the track before all the cars had made their way to parc ferme. This was declared a “serious breach of safety regulations”.
The grid will be back in action in just over a month, when the Formula E circus moves to Marrakesh on the 13th of January.
Feature Image Credit: “Heartbreak in Hong Kong”