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Race highlights - Hong Kong Round 2 // Energy saving dominates and two spins dictate the order

Published by Christine Blachford

Bibendum oversees the podium celebrations
Credit: LAT/Formula E

The second race of the season was just two laps longer than the first but it made an incredible difference on the type of spectacle witnessed. Rather than all out squabbling for position, it was a lesson in energy management, sensible driving and keeping your head. Some managed this better than others, and a spin on the first lap and on the final lap (by two different drivers) had a huge impact on the results.

Read on for lap by lap coverage of all the action from Round 2 in Hong Kong.

Live: Hong Kong E-Prix 2017 - Round 2

Event Highlights

  • Race gets going with safety car start after issue with starting lights.
  • First lap spin for Rosenqvist forces recovery drive to second place.
  • Mortara leads most of the race only to spin on final lap, handing victory to Audi.
  • Daniel Abt wins the race on his birthday - 25 points for his 25th.
  • Championship rivals Buemi and Di Grassi finish outside top ten for second race in a row.
  • 06:31

    Hello there! Welcome to the Factbyte Factbox for the second race of the 2017/18 Formula E season, just 24 hours after the first one!

  • 06:32

    If you missed any of yesterday's brilliant opening race of the season, then do check out my lap by lap coverage of the event, or the sixty second summary to get all caught up.

  • 06:33

    The main headlines are Sam Bird's victory, which came after a pit lane incident that slowed him down and earned him a drive through penalty. He still managed to win ahead of pole sitter Vergne and a disappointed Heidfeld.

  • 06:34

    Bird's misdemeanour in the pit lane earned him that drive through during the race but the stewards also decided to hand him a 10 place grid penalty for the race today.

  • 06:35

    Which brings us to qualifying, and it is Rosenqvist who has secured pole position for the race with Mitch Evans a close second (although he'll start fourth for a power overuse penalty).

  • 06:37

    The usual suspects were missing in action once more, with Sebastién Buemi hitting the wall and finishing 20th, whilst Di Grassi was a little further up in 12th but he still missed out on the fight for pole position.

  • 06:44
    Starting grid
    1F RosenqvistMahindra
    2E MortaraVenturi
    3D AbtAudi Sport
    4M EvansJaguar
    5A LynnDS Virgin
    6A Felix Da CostaAndretti
    7J VergneTecheetah
    8O TurveyNIO
    9L FilippiNIO
    10N HeidfeldMahindra
  • 06:45
    Fanboost

    Don't forget you can still vote for your favourite driver to get FanBoost for the upcoming race. Just a few minutes left.

  • 06:52

    Ten minutes to go. Keep an eye on the early corners when the racing gets going, as yesterday saw a bit of a traffic jam when Lotterer crashed and brought everyone behind him to a standstill. A lengthy red flag period followed - we'll be hoping to avoid that situation again today.

  • 06:53
    Circuit Data
    Hong Kong
    Local timezone+08:00 GMT
    First race2016
    Number of laps45
    Circuit length1.86km
    Race distance83.7km
  • 06:55

    Heidfeld had a bit of a meltdown yesterday, he was following Jean-Éric Vergne for the final few laps of the race and desperately looking for a way to get past. Immediately after the race, where he finished third, he was complaining about Vergne's defensive actions, saying he was driving illegally. He said he was FURIOUS.

  • 06:57

    Weather icon

    24°C
    Track28°C
    Humidity70%
    Wind speed0.3mps
  • 07:01

    TweetTweet from @LukeSmithF1: Second @FIAFormulaE race of the season about to get underway in Hong Kong! Rosenqvist on pole ahead of Mortara - two Macau specialists ready to duke it out up front

  • 07:03

    The grid actually wraps itself around that final corner, with Buemi unable to even see pole position from his spot.

  • 07:04

    The start procedure was activated but there is no movement on the grid as yet.

  • 07:05

    TweetTweet from @MahindraRacing: Start delayed, #glitch

  • 07:06

    There were a lot of problems with the radio yesterday, drivers unable to communicate with their teams, which was frustrating for them and meant we could only hear a handful of conversations.

  • 07:08

    And finally the cars move forward to their grid slots.

  • 07:08

    Race controlGrid positions now, start behind safety car.

  • 07:09

    Looks and sounds like there's an issue with the starting lights gantry, so the safety car has led the field away. That's awkward.

  • 07:09 Lap 1

    Green flagVery anti-climactic start to the race.

  • 07:09 Lap 1

    TweetTweet from @TecheetahFE: Slight anticlimax for the drivers but the race will get going and that is the most important thing!

  • 07:10 Lap 2

    The safety car heads in and Rosenqvist speeds up round the final corner to kick-start the race on lap two.

  • 07:11 Lap 2

    Rosenqvist spun it at the hairpin, and had to just sit and watch whilst the pack piled through. Then he got impatient and just muscled in, making contact with a couple of other cars. He's down in 11th now.

  • 07:12 Lap 3

    Mortara is now leading the race, the rookie driver who surprised everyone yesterday with such a great qualifying performance.

  • 07:12 Lap 3

    Buemi is on it already, he's moved up to 18th place after starting last.

  • 07:13 Lap 4

    Buemi up another place as he dispatches D'Ambrosio. Meanwhile, Vergne is looking for a way past Alex Lynn in a battle for 5th place.

  • 07:14 Lap 5

    Sam Bird trying to make amends for the incident yesterday and subsequent penalty. The DS Virgin car is in 9th place now.

  • 07:15 Lap 6

    Nick Heidfeld has pulled to a halt out on track.

  • 07:15 Lap 6

    The Mahindra car has got going again, but he's missing some bodywork from some contact perhaps.

  • 07:17 Lap 8

    FanBoost this race goes to Kobayashi, Filippi and Abt.

  • 07:18 Lap 8

    Buemi up to 15th as he passes Kobayashi. Lotterer is next in his queue.

  • 07:18 Lap 9

    Out front, Abt is keeping tabs on race leader Mortara, but the pair have pulled a gap out on Evans in third place.

  • 07:19 Lap 9

    TweetTweet from @toomuchracing: 2nd race usually a bit calmer in a double header, because it is longer, more energy saving

  • 07:20 Lap 11

    Filippi has come into the pit lane, a disappointing race could be over already.

  • 07:21 Lap 11

    Energy-wise, Mortara is doing an incredible job to comfortably lead but also keep more in reserve than those chasing him.

  • 07:21 Lap 12

    Another position gained for Sam Bird, who moves into 8th place.

  • 07:22 Lap 12

    Nick Heidfeld sets the fastest lap of the race so far - he's currently running last after the issue that halted him on track, but he's got it all going again.

  • 07:23 Lap 14
    Gap Analysis
    PosDriverGap
    1stMOR1:05.186
    2ndABT+1.435
    3rdEVA+4.976
    4thDAC+6.450
    5thLYN+7.187
  • 07:24 Lap 14

    TweetTweet from @MahindraRacing: And @FRosenqvist is pulling himself slowly back up through the field, still over half distance to go, onward!!!

  • 07:25 Lap 15

    Lucas di Grassi makes a confident pass on Prost to move into the top ten.

  • 07:25 Lap 15

    Filippi is back out on track and running again. He's 5 laps down on the rest of the field but has a lot more energy left than they do!

  • 07:28 Lap 18

    Rosenqvist makes another pass, snatching 7th place from Oliver Turvey who was too busy concentrating on energy conservation.

  • 07:29 Lap 19

    Energy percentages vary across the field, but we're down to the 25-28% range.

  • 07:30 Lap 20

    TweetTweet from @NIOGlobal: A broken track rod meant @LucaFilippiLF had to pit, he returned to the race at the back of the field. @OliverTurvey is running in P8.

  • 07:31 Lap 21

    TweetTweet from @girltalksracing: Regardless of where Rosenqvist’s battery is at right now, his frustration is at 100%. It makes for great passes though.

  • 07:32 Lap 21

    Buemi and Jani are the first pair to dip below 10% of energy remaining.

  • 07:34 Lap 23

    Buemi comes into the pits, the first of the runners to come in for the big car swap.

  • 07:34 Lap 23

    Mortara has been following Heidfeld for a good few corners, the back marker not making it easy for the leader to get past.

  • 07:34 Lap 24

    Mortara does get through eventually but comes into the pit lane anyway.

  • 07:35 Lap 24

    Lots of pit stops happening now, with just Da Costa, Lynn and Di Grassi opting to stay out on track.

  • 07:35 Lap 24

    Abt had a long stop yesterday but has got away cleanly today. Instead, it's Mitch Evans who had a long stop and he's dropped at least one position.

  • 07:36 Lap 24

    Da Costa and Lynn make their pit stops this time round.

  • 07:36 Lap 25

    Di Grass slowed right down, but got the Audi going again. He does make it round to the pit lane.

  • 07:37 Lap 26

    So, Mortara has retained his lead with Abt three seconds behind. Rosenqvist has done a brilliant job to move into third, making up for that embarrassing first lap spin.

  • 07:38 Lap 26

    Something must have gone awry in Da Costa's pit stop, as the Andretti car is now running down in 14th having taken that extra lap before coming in.

  • 07:40 Lap 28
    Battle for 3rd
    PosDriverGap
    3F Rosenqvist-
    4M Evans+1.563
    5A Lynn+2.469
  • 07:41 Lap 29
    Top ten
    1E MortaraVenturi
    2D AbtAudi Sport
    3F RosenqvistMahindra
    4M EvansJaguar
    5A LynnDS Virgin
    6J VergneTecheetah
    7S BirdDS Virgin
    8O TurveyNIO
    9M EngelVenturi
    10N ProstRenault e.dams
  • 07:42 Lap 30

    Battery usage is similar across the field, running in about 75% remaining. A few of the lower positions have more, but they've got ground to make up.

  • 07:44 Lap 32

    TweetTweet from @TecheetahFE: Getting in to a nice rhythm is key in street racing, both boys doing a good job at it. 15 laps to go

  • 07:45 Lap 33

    Team radioTeam radio to Nick Heidfeld: "The car behind you is not for position. Is not for position."

    Mortara trying to get through yet again.

  • 07:46 Lap 34

    There's a piece of Heidfeld's car lying off track which won't be helping his pace.

  • 07:49 Lap 37
    One to Watch
    M Evansvs.A Lynn
    4th+0.5s5th
  • 07:51 Lap 38

    Battery usage is not at about the 40% mark. Lynn is told to beware trying to pass and using too much energy. He has more than Evans in front but can't just go all out.

  • 07:52 Lap 39

    TweetTweet from @eracing_net: Alex Lynn and Mitch Evans are in a serious battle for fourth place - if Evans can hold onto it it will equal his best-ever finish, in last year's much less competitive Jaguar. Eight laps might not be enough for him to improve on that.

  • 07:56 Lap 43

    Filippi, running last, has just 6% battery left.

  • 07:56 Lap 43

    Mortara!! After such an incredible race, he's spun and thrown away a comfortable win!

  • 07:57 Lap 44

    He's rejoined third, so still a podium but that must hurt.

  • 07:57 Lap 44

    Abt is leading now, with Rosenqvist recovering to second place.

  • 07:58 Lap 44

    Filippi has come into the pit lane, energy running low.

  • 07:58 Lap 45

    Final lap!

  • 07:59

    Chequered flagDaniel Abt wins the Hong Kong e-Prix!

  • 07:59

    Abt's first ever Formula E win, and a great job by the Audi Sport crew in their second official race.

  • 07:59

    Mortara does take third, he'll be disappointed but it's something. The replays look like it wasn't his fault, the spin.

  • 08:00

    Crash at the final corner as Lotterer hits the wall at the very final moment.

  • 08:00

    TweetTweet from @girltalksracing: Would you rather... undergo a Rosenqvist at the start of the race or a Mortara with 3 laps to go?

  • 08:01

    The battle between Evans and Lynn was neutralised in the final few corners, with Lynn dropping back down to tenth.

  • 08:01

    Yesterday's race winner Sam Bird finished sixth.

  • 08:02
    Top ten
    1D AbtAudi Sport
    2F RosenqvistMahindra
    3E MortaraVenturi
    4M EvansJaguar
    5J VergneTecheetah
    6S BirdDS Virgin
    7O TurveyNIO
    8M EngelVenturi
    9N ProstRenault e.dams
    10A LynnDS Virgin
  • 08:03

    Mortara does look devastated by the result. It's tricky because his third place is still brilliant for the rookie racer, but the glimpse of a win has tainted it all.

  • 08:07

    QuoteDaniel Abt: "I almost have no words. Starting the day, we were saying we'd go for 25 points on my 25th birthday, but for it to actually happen, I'm so delighted. It's been a long time since my last win, and everyone's worked so hard over the last couple of months to have a car capable of winning. Huge credit to Edo for his pace today. Okay, he did a mistake, but great race today. I've had a lot of races that didn't go my way but everything today went in my direction and it's the payback today for a lot of hard work."

  • 08:07

    QuoteFelix Rosenqvist: "To be fair, I've been struggling with my brakes all weekend. I just locked up the rear completely, they were completely stopped, I just spun around in turn one. Just went a bit too far to let the other guys through as well. We had to go for a different strategy, I felt so good in the car. Huge thanks to my team. That's promising for the season, that's 22 points today, so that's a good day."

  • 08:07

    QuoteEdoardo Mortara: "I am gutted, yea. I was struggling with the brakes at the end, but it was my fault. I wanted too much today, I wanted to go for the fastest lap, I had way too much energy, I had the energy to do it. I lost the rear, sometimes you have to say, yea. You never know what the next race weekend is going to be, but we had the chance to win the race. I managed not to do it but thanks to Venturi, they did an awesome job. To be there leading the race for most of the race, it was amazing, we'll try again for the next one."

  • 08:11

    Race controlTeam Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler under investigation.

  • 08:13
    Championship Standings
    PosDriverPts
    1D Abt36
    2S Bird33
    3J Vergne31
    4F Rosenqvist22
    5E Mortara21
    6N Heidfeld15
    7M Evans12
    8N Piquet12
    9A Felix Da Costa8
    10O Turvey6
  • 08:18

    Podium celebrations, and as Daniel Abt makes his way to the top step, they play out 50 Cent. "Go shorty, it's your birthday."

  • 08:18

    National anthem plays out.

  • 08:21

    Trophies and champagne. Abt runs straight into the crowd and his team, champagne spraying everywhere.

  • 08:23

    So two races done. Today's wasn't the racing spectacle of yesterday but certainly added to the intrigue and interest of setting up the full season. Traditional championship runners aren't faring so well, new rivalries are forming, and young drivers are learning on the job very quickly.

  • 08:23

    There is plenty to think about, and lots of time to do it! The next race isn't until January, so enjoy the holidays and see you back here for round 3 from Morocco!