by Robert Jones
THE fifth round of the Formula E season took place on the streets of Hong Kong, as a last lap collision gifted Venturi racing’s Edoardo Mortara his maiden victory.
It came as a surprise to everyone as the race had been dominated throughout by Britain’s Sam Bird and Germany’s Andre Lotterer. The pair had pace which no one else could compete with, after Oliver Rowand had car issues early on having led the first few minutes of racing.
Once Bird and Lotterer capitalized on the problem they pulled a huge gap, before Bird made a mistake by missing his braking going into turn two and gifting Lotterer the lead. The pair had their lead cut short on several occasions, as the safety car was called upon when pole sitter Stoffel Vandorne and Rowland both stopped out on track at different stages in the final 20 minutes of racing.
Both times the pair created a gap back to Mortara but with the win insight and Lotterer seemingly struggling, Bird went for the inside line at the turn two, but a late braking move by Lotterer saw them make slight contact and the German retain the lead.
But three corners later and Bird was finally into the lead as the Techeetah racing driver suffered a severe left rear puncture from the contact.
Bird went on to claim victory but after the stewards decision, the Brit’s victory was stripped leading to Mortara getting a win that he would have hoped to see come his way, but for sure one he did not expect.
Mexico winner Lucas Di Grassi finished a superb second enhancing his title credentials once again, with Dutchmen Robin Frijns rounding out the podium places.
Bird was relegated to sixth after the five second penalty, and although the result could have been so much better, the Brit still leaves Hong Kong having taken the championship lead going into round six in China.