Round five of the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship took place in Hong Kong today, and saw both, Jérôme D’Ambrosio and Pascal Wehrlein, forced into early retirement.
After a heavy downpour just before the start of qualifying, D’Ambrosio and Wehrlein headed out on a very wet track in Group 1. They were forced to start on the 11th row of the grid.
With the weather shaking things up in Hong Kong, both drivers had everything to play for when the lights went green and both cars had a clean start. Unfortunately, GEOX Dragon’s Felipe Nasr hit the wall on the second lap in the second corner, leaving nowhere for Wehrlein or D’Ambrosio to go. Unable to avoid contact, both cars were forced into early retirement.
“I think it was obvious that there was an issue with Nasr’s car as there was smoke coming out of it so Dragon should have brought him into the pits, made the car safe and then sent him out. In my opinion they caused a dangerous collision and that needs looking at. It’s disappointing because we knew there would be incidents today that we could have tried to take advantage of but, unfortunately, it happened to us,” the Belgian pointed out.
“It was a disappointing weekend unfortunately. We didn’t’ have the pace from the beginning and couldn’t find the solution in time. Obviously the race was really short; I couldn’t avoid the accident because the car in front of me crashed into the wall so it was an early finish for us. We have to work hard now to make sure our car is competitive in wet conditions because we know we have got the pace in the dry. So we learn from this and move on to Sanya”, said Wehrlein.
“It’s unfortunate that on the celebration of 50 races for Mahindra Racing it turned into our shortest race of our Formula E history”, summarised Team Principal Dilbagh Gill. Despite the disappointing end, the Indian outfit concentrates on the positives, being placed third in the team’s championship, with 83 points, while D’Ambrosio is second in the driver’s standings with 53 points.
The sixth round of the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship takes place on Saturday 23 March in Sanya, China.