Abt secures first Formula E win after Mortara spins


Credit: Formula E

Daniel Abt celebrated his 25th birthday in the best possible way by securing his first win in Formula E, and taking the lead of the driver’s championship.

After years of being overshadowed by his team-mate Lucas di Grassi, Abt finally led the way for Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler, even if his win was slightly fortuitous.

Abt had been running in second when Edorado Mortara spun from the lead just two laps from the end, blaming a problem with his energy regeneration.

He recovered to finish third, but will rue the missed chance to get a win in only his second race in the series, especially when he drove so assuredly for the majority of the race.

Felix Rosenqvist will be equally disappointed that he wasn’t able to convert his pole position into a win, especially after a lights failure meant that the race started under a safety car.

It should have guaranteed the Swede an easier time defending his lead into turn one, but he instead locked his rear wheels and spun out of the lead.

The fact that he recovered to finish second showed the immense pace he had in his Mahindra Racing car, and had he not spun you would have assumed he would have taken the win.

Mitch Evans finished behind in fourth to underline the improvements Panasonic Jaguar Racing have made over the winter, although team-mate Nelson Piquet Jr struggled compared to yesterday and finished out of the points in thirteenth.

Jean-Eric Vergne followed up his podium yesterday with a fifth place, with yesterday’s race winner Sam Bird recovered from his grid penalty to finish sixth.

Oliver Turvey drove a solid race to finish seventh, followed by Maro Engel, Nico Prost.

Alex Lynn had been challenging Evans for fourth pace, but he ran out of energy towards the end and plummeted down to tenth place.

It was another terrible race for last year’s title contenders though, with both di Grassi and Sebastien Buemi leaving Hong Kong without any points.

While his team-mate was taking the chequered flag, di Grassi was way down in fifteenth having been forced to stop just before the pit stops with a mechanical fault.

And after a dreadful qualifying session saw him start last, Buemi managed to fight his way through the field, but was only able to make it to eleventh place

Hong Kong was also a race to forget for Andre Lotterer whose debut couldn’t have gone much worse.

Having been disqualified from yesterday’s race, he was once again comfortably outpaced by his Techeetah team-mate Vergne, and then crashed coming out of the final corner on the last lap.