Formula E: Rosenqvist steals Race 2 in Hong Kong


Daniel Abt was denied his first ever Formula E win on his birthday after being disqualified after the race having initially crossed the line first in Hong Kong.

The German dramatically claimed the lead with two laps to go and did not let it go after Edoardo Mortara threw away the lead but after the race the victory was stripped from him due to technical infringements.

That handed the winner’s trophy to polesitter Felix Rosenqvist as he recovered superbly after spinning himself at the first turn and finding himself in the midfield.

Abt’s disqualification meant that Morata was elevated to second while Mitch Evans continued Jaguar’s impressive start to the season by taking the final podium spot.

While few thought the second ePrix of the weekend could have been as manic as the first, it looked like they would be proved wrong right from the beginning, the race getting underway behind the Safety Car after the start lights failed.

The drivers were unleashed one lap later and Rosenqvist initially streaked away at the front, only to brake too late into the first turn and spin his Mahindra before colliding with Nelson Piquet and Luca Filippi as he attempted to recover.

That incident promoted Mortara into the lead and he immediately pulled away from everyone else, while the action continued behind as Antonio Felix da Costa forced his way past Alex Lynn for fourth while Sam Bird moved up to ninth at the end of lap four.

Things quietened down after that as the drivers settled into a rhythm, Rosenqvist pulling off the only notable passes as he marched his way back up to the front of the field with impressive moves on Bird and Oliver Turvey.

The majority of the drivers pitted at the end of Lap 23 and – unlike the first race – it was rather uneventful, with the only driver suffering a mishap being Evans as he dropped behind Rosenqvist into fourth having looked set for his first ever Formula E podium.

Once again the race settled into an attritional rhythm as Mortara controlled his advantage over Abt and looked set to take Venturi’s first win in ePrix at the 36th time of asking after the team struggled at the back of the field last year.

But with just two and a half laps to go he got too greedy, braked too late and spun, allowing Abt to slot into the lead and reach the chequered flag first.

Yet despite spraying the champagne and conducting all of his interviews, the Audi driver was denied the perfect 25th birthday present as the stewards decided a number of his components did not match up.

That meant Rosenqvist, rather fortuitously, ended the day in the position he began it in while Mortara picked up only Venturi’s third podium in the sport.

Evans was delighted with third – bettering team-mate Piquet’s finish the day before by one place – while Jean-Eric Vergne was fourth.

Bird capped a successful first weekend of the year with 10 points to add to his race win yesterday with Oliver Turvey, Maro Engel and Nico Prost directly behind him.

Lynn dropped five places on the final lap but eventually ended up ninth after Abt’s disqualification, which also meant that Sebastien Buemi was elevated into the point after a disappointing weekend for him and the Renault e.dams team.

Reigning champion, Lucas di Grassi, had another awful race, finishing 14th and one place behind Andre Lotterer, who capped an eventful weekend by crashing at the final corner and limping across the line.