Mortara wins Hong Kong ePrix after Bird penalty

Andre Lottrer leads Sam Bird

Edoardo Mortara has claimed his first Formula E race win in Hong Kong courtesy of a time penalty for Sam Bird following a collision with Andre Lotterer on the penultimate lap.

Having been embroiled in a race-long duel, Bird made a move for the race lead at Turn 2 in the closing moments of the race.

The two leaders made contact, Bird tagging the right rear of Lotterer’s car to leave him with a slow puncture.

Initially Lotterer was able to hold his advantage at the head of the race, but soon began to struggle for pace before finally having to stop out on track.

That allowed Bird to take over the race lead and reach the chequered flag first, though a five-second penalty for the contact ultimately saw him fall to sixth in the classification.

Second on the road, Mortara therefore inherited the race win, the first for both driver and team.

The Swiss pilot had climbed from sixth on the grid and rounded out a solid event for Venturi which saw the sister car of Felipe Massa finish fifth.

Stoffel Vandoorne started from pole, though the former McLaren Formula 1 driver lost the lead off the line, and his race was curtailed with a driveshaft failure around half distance.

A crash for Felipe Nasr triggered the red flag when the Mahindra Racing driver found the wall at Turn 2 on Lap 2, where he was followed in by Pascal Wehrlein and Jerome d’Ambrosio.

The race then restarted behind the Safety Car once the trio of cars had been cleared, prompting a resumption of the Bird versus Lotterer battle out front, which had developed in the opening laps after Oliver Rowland briefly controlled the race from the start.

With Mortara classified first, second was Lucas di Grassi, and Robin Frijns completing the podium.

Having set the fastest lap, Bird gained an extra point and now heads the championship standings by a single point over d’Albrosio with Di Grassi and Mortara tied for third, one point further back.

The Formula E Championship next heads to China for the inaugural race in Sanya on March 23 for Round 6 of the 2018/19 season.

Race results: Race 5, Hong Kong

Pos Driver Team Laps Race time/Split
1 Edoardo Mortara Venturi Formula E Team 36 59:36.119
2 Lucas di Grassi Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler 36 +0.988
3 Robin Frijns Envision Virgin Racing 36 +1.536
4 Daniel Abt Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler 36 +1.985
5 Felipe Massa Venturi Formula E Team 36 +3.258
6 Sam Bird Envision Virgin Racing 36 +3.306
7 Mitch Evans Panasonic Jaguar Racing 36 +4.017
8 Gary Paffett HWA Racelab 36 +4.368
9 Oliver Turvey NIO Formula E Team 36 +5.624
10 António Félix da Costa BMW i Andretti Motorsport 36 +6.492
11 José María López Geox Dragon 36 +7.218
12 Tom Dillmann NIO Formula E Team 36 +7.825
13 Jean-Éric Vergne DS Techeetah 36 +16.604
14 André Lotterer DS Techeetah 36 +24.270
DNF Oliver Rowland Nissan e.dams 29  
DNF Stoffel Vandoorne HWA Racelab 20  
DNF Sébastien Buemi Nissan e.dams 19  
DNF Alexander Sims BMW i Andretti Motorsport 16  
DNF Felipe Nasr Geox Dragon 1  
DNF Pascal Wehrlein Mahindra Racing 1  
DNF Jérôme d’Ambrosio Mahindra Racing 1  
DNF Nelson Piquet Jnr Panasonic Jaguar Racing    

Drivers’ championship

Pos Driver Pts
1 Sam Bird 54
2 Jérôme d’Ambrosio 53
3 Lucas di Grassi 52
4 Edoardo Mortara 52
5 António Félix da Costa 47
6 Robin Frijns 43
7 Daniel Abt 34
8 Mitch Evans 34
9 Pascal Wehrlein 30
10 André Lotterer 29
11 Jean-Éric Vergne 28
12 Alexander Sims 18
13 Sébastien Buemi 15
14 Felipe Massa 14
15 Oliver Rowland 6
16 Oliver Turvey 6
17 Gary Paffett 4
18 Stoffel Vandoorne 3
19 José María López 2
20 Nelson Piquet Jnr 1
21 Tom Dillmann 0
22 Maximilian Günther 0
23 Felipe Nasr 0
24 Felix Rosenqvist 0

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