Despite incurring an eight-second penalty in the pits, DS Virgin Racing driver Sam Bird clinched victory in Round One of the HKT Hong Kong E-Prix.
With a delay at the beginning of the race caused by TECHEETAH driver Andre Lotterer hitting the wall on Turn 3, all cars returned to the pit lane under a red flag.
With racing back underway, Season Two champion and Renault e.dams driver Sebastien Buemi battled it out wheel-to-wheel with reigning champion and Audi Sport Abt Shaeffler driver Lucas di Grassi, in 7th and 6th position respectively.
TECHEETAH’s Jean-Eric Vergne managed to hold onto his lead for 20 laps until DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird skillfully took him on the inside of Turn 6.
Charging into the pits, Bird overshot the mark and exited the car outside of the garage, instantly incurring an eight-second penalty. Nonetheless, he emerged unscathed, returning to the lead as Mahindra Racing’s Nick Heidfeld and Vergne continued to battle it out for second and third.
Reigning champion Lucas di Grassi was forced into the pits with a mechanical problem following the incident at the start of the race, where he switched to his second car with 27 laps to go.
Former champ Sebastien Buemi came to a halt around the hairpin as a result of his battery management system failing on his car.
2017 HKT Hong Kong E-Prix (Rd 1) – Race results
1 – Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing, 1:17.10.486s (25)
2 – Jean-Eric Vergne, TECHEETAH, +11.575s (21)
3 – Nick Heidfeld, Mahindra Racing, +12.465s (15)
4 – Nelson Piquet Jr, Panasonic Jaguar Racing, +15.324s (12)
5 – Daniel Abt, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, +17.205s (11)
6 – Antonio Felix da Costa, Andretti Formula E, +18.083s (8)
7 – Edoardo Mortara, Venturi Formula E Team, +19.797s (6)
8 – Alex Lynn, DS Virgin Racing, +20.904s (4)
9 – Nico Prost, Renault e.dams, +24.785s (2)
10 – Luca Filippi, NIO Formula E Team, +25.500s (1)
11 – Sebastien Buemi, Renault e.dams, +26.202s
12 – Mitch Evans, Panasonic Jaguar Racing, +34.871s
13 – Maro Engel, Venturi Formula E Team, +35.752s
14 – Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing, +41.174s
15 – Kamui Kobayashi, Andretti Formula E, +48.422s
16 – Oliver Turvey, NIO Formula E Team, +1 Lap
17 – Lucas di Grassi, ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport, +1 Lap
18 – Neel Jani, DRAGON, +1 Lap
DNF – Jerome D’Ambrosio, DRAGON, 34 Laps
DSQ – Andre Lotterer, TECHEETAH, 43 Laps
Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing – 25
Jean-Eric Vergne, TECHEETAH – 21
Nick Heidfeld, Mahindra Racing – 15
Nelson Piquet Jr, Panasonic Jaguar Racing – 12
Daniel Abt, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler – 11
DS Virgin Racing – 29
TECHEETAH – 21
Mahindra Racing – 15
Panasonic Jaguar Racing – 12
Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler – 11
Andretti Formula E – 8
Venturi Formula E Team – 6
Renault e.dams – 2
NIO Formula E Team – 1
DRAGON – 0