Venturi’s Edoardo Mortara has been declared the winner of the Hong Kong E-Prix, thus becoming the series’ newest winner as on-track winner Sam Bird of Envision Virgin Racing has been given a five second time penalty for his collision with long-time race leader Andre Lotterer.
Mortara benefited from the misfortune of those around him to rise up to the podium positions, with a stellar drive made even more impressive by him holding up an entire train of cars behind him that were all on attack mode.
Third place became second following the Bird/Lotterer incident which left the latter with a puncture, with the former judged to have caused the incident, earning himself a five second time penalty from the stewards and dropping to sixth in the race classification.
The steward’s decision gives Mortara his first victory in Formula E, as well as a maiden triumph to the Venturi team, whose previous best was a second place at the 2016 Long Beach E-Prix, with Stephane Sarrazin at the wheel.
Mortara’s victory also puts right the wrong of last season as at the same circuit the Swiss-Italian was en route to his maiden series victory but span out on the penultimate lap while trying to take the fastest lap.
Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi is promoted to second, while Robin Frijns ensured that Envision Virgin Racing still took home some silverware with third place.
Daniel Abt moves up to fourth ahead of Felipe Massa, bringing Venturi one of its best races yet with both drivers in the top five.
Despite the penalty, Bird maintains his new status as championship leader, albeit with a gap of three points to Jerome d’Ambrosio instead of 18. Mortara moves up to third in the standings, four points behind Bird.
The decision by the stewards is unable to be appealed by Envision Virgin Racing, as stated in the document confirming the penalty for Bird:
“The Competitor is reminded that, in accordance with Article 12.2.4 of the FIA International Sporting Code and Article 17.2 of the FIA Formula E Sporting regulations, the above penalty is not susceptible to appeal.”