Mahindra Grabs Podium In Hong Kong ePrix; Sebastian Buemi Takes Pole
By Ronak Shah
1 mins read
Published on October 10, 2016
- Mahindra's Nick Heidfield finished third on the podium
- Sebastian Buemi of Renault was the 2015 Formula E champion
- The race also marked Jaguar's return to racing after 12 years
The third season of the all-electric Formula E Grand Prix commenced in Hong Kong and making folks back home proud was Mahindra as it grabbed the third position in the race final race on Sunday. German driver Nick Heidfield scored the first podium for the Indian team, while 2015 Formula E champion Sebastian Buemi of team Renault e.dams dominated the race taking the pole position.
Nelson Piquet Jr. of team NextEV Nio started at the pole and led the Hong Kong ePrix for the first half of the race, while teammate Oliver Turvey was placed in the second position. Meanwhile, Sam Bird managed to move up on the opening lap but made contact with teammate Lopez, which slowed the latter down. This did help Buemi, who started 5th on the grid, and Mahindra driver Heidfield to move up on the standings quickly.
The first lap also saw contact between di Grassi and Ma Qing Hua on the first lap with both cars damaged. The terminal damages led to Ma's early retirement in the race, while di Grassi had to return to the pits to the change the damaged front win, half of which was lost in the collision.
However, what really changed the fate of the race after the safety car was deployed the incident, which led to several drivers including Turvey, Buemi, Heidfeld, Duval, Prost, d'Ambrosio and di Grassi coming early into the pits to change cars. Buemi benefitted the most from the situation and went on to win the race, while di Grassi of Audi Abt finished second after making up 17 places after the collision. His position though was largely affected by the second pitstop to replace the damaged front wing.
Nick Heidfeld in the Mahindra race car mirrored his podium finish from the first race of the 2016 season in Beijing. The early stages saw Heidfield battle for the fifth spot with teammate Felix Rosenqvist, but the crash followed by the safety car allowed the German driver to move up two places on the leader board.
Formula E's first race was watched by over 30,000 spectators. In its third season, world's first all-electric car racing series now has new venues, teams and drivers. The biggest highlight this season has been automaker Jaguar making a comeback to motorsport since 2004 with Formula E. The inaugural race saw Jaguar driver Adam Carroll finish 12th in the 45 Lap race, while teammate Mitch Evans ended up with a DNF. With 11 more races to go, this season is in for more excitement and some more close finishes, something we hope to see at the Morrocco ePrix in Marrakesh in November this year.
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