Just Electric

Race review: Picking the top three from Hong Kong

In a new feature, we take a look at Just Electric’s top three drivers from the Hong Kong E-Prix.

The race in Hong Kong was full of thrills and spills; with several drivers taking turns to lead the race, contact between the race leaders with a few laps to go, and the race win not being decided until hours after the fact in the stewards’ room.

But which three drivers impressed us the most? We take a look below.

Andre Lotterer (started 4th, finished 14th)

The German driver had a strong qualifying session, putting his DS Techeetah machine fourth on the grid in tricky conditions while his team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne spun out and started down in 18th.

Lotterer maintained his fourth position up until the early red flag, but after that turned on the style and moved up into the lead of the race by lap eight.

He maintained this position for the next 26 laps, despite having an extremely rapid Sam Bird behind him trying to force him into a mistake.

Just two laps from the end, Lotterer’s dream of taking his first E-Prix win was shattered when Bird made contact with him from behind, puncturing a tyre on the Techeetah car and forcing him to drop all the way to 14th by the end of the race.

Sam Bird (started 7th, finished 6th)

The Envision Virgin Racing driver made a blistering start to the race, moving up from seventh on the grid to lead the race in the early stages.

He was then passed by Lotterer, and thus began a race-long battle for the lead with the British driver rarely dropping back from the rear of Lotterer’s car as he continued to put the pressure on.

There were several safety car periods in the race, but the top two were able to pull out a gap after each restart and continue their lead battle.

Things all went wrong with just two laps to go as Bird made contact with one of Lotterer’s rear tyres, causing the Techeetah driver to suffer a puncture.

Bird led the remainder of the race and took the chequered flag as the winner, but was later handed a five-second time penalty by the stewards which dropped him down to sixth.

However he does retain his lead of the drivers’ standings by a single point over Jerome d’Ambrosio.

Edoardo Mortara (started 6th, finished 1st)

The Swiss-Italian racer set the third-quickest time in qualifying after an entertaining lap, but was dropped three places on the grid due to a red flag infraction meaning he started sixth.

He maintained that position early in the race, moving up to fourth by lap eight as he passed Oliver Rowland and Gary Paffett.

Mortara then spent the next 11 laps in a train that formed behind Stoffel Vandoorne’s HWA Racelab car, before he was finally able to dispatch the Belgian driver on lap 19 and move up into a podium spot.

He stayed in this third position for the next 15 laps, keeping Lucas di Grassi behind him despite the Audi driver’s best efforts to get past.

Mortara was then rewarded with just two laps to go as he jumped up into second place following contact between leaders Bird and Lotterer.

Better news was to follow after the race, with Bird being penalised and Mortara inheriting the win – the first victory for both Mortara and the Venturi team.

Laurence Thorn

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