Hong Kong E-Prix: Sam Bird stripped of win amid controversy

March 11, 2019

Photo credit: Evo 

 

Poor weather catalysed an already gripping race as Edoardo Mortara was crowned victor through controversial circumstances.

 

Envision Virgin Racing's Sam Bird received a five-second time penalty following a late coming together with Techeetah’s Lotterer - costing him a Hong Kong E-Prix victory.

 

Bird made contact with Lotterer's right-rear tyre, causing a puncture which led to the German's retirement.

 

Incredibly, the decision was only made fours hours after a dramatic finish to the race on Central Harbourfront.

 

Despite being first to pass the chequered flag, the five-second time penalty resulted in Bird dropping him to sixth place. Regardless, Bird is now the championship leader by one point.

 

The FIA stewards’ decision meant that Edoardo Mortara was bumped up to first, providing Formula E with its fifth different race winner from five races in season five.

 

Hong Kong’s dreary weather caused additional dramatic scenes as spectators witnessed the most retirements this season; with eight drivers failing to finish. Not a surprising statistic considering this was the first time Formula E experienced a wet race.

 

The 2019 Hong Kong E-Prix was, in the end, a spectacular event - subjecting fans to an emotional rollercoaster and will no doubt add more respect and credibility to Formula E’s name.

 

 

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