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Mortara, Venturi Set for First Win as Bird Penalized

Edoardo Mortara, Venturi provisionally score first win as Sam Bird penalized post-race…

Photo: Formula E

Edoardo Mortara has provisionally been promoted to winner of the Hong Kong E-Prix after the FIA gave Sam Bird a five-second penalty for causing a collision with Andre Lotterer.

It marks the first ABB FIA Formula E Championship race win for both Mortara and Venturi after initially finishing second on track.

Bird was engaged in a tense battle with Andre Lotterer for much of Sunday afternoon’s race which came to a head when the DS Techeetah driver picked up a puncture.

That puncture had been caused by contact with Bird’s chasing Envision Virgin Racing car moments earlier, leading to Lotterer dropping from the lead to 14th at the line.

Celebrations from Bird and Envision Virgin were muted post-race, with the Anglo-Chinese team aware of the risk of a post-race penalty.

Bird drops to sixth in the final order, with Lucas di Grassi second behind Mortara and Robin Frijns third.

A protest regarding the penalty has been made, but Mortara remains the provisional race winner on the amended provisional result.

The official stewards decision which informed the amended provisional classification, read: “The driver of car 2 [Bird] had a direct hit with the right rear tyre of car 36 resulting in an immediate puncture.

“It is acknowledged that the track was damp in certain areas, however car 36 left more than a car width to the inside. As a result, we find that the Driver of car 2 was predominatly to blame for the incident.”

The Brit holds onto a narrow one-point lead in the drivers’ standings while Envision Virgin has had its teams’ championship lead cut to 11 points.

Wolff “Proud” of First Venturi Win

Venturi team principal Susie Wolff says she’s proud of the team’s effort in scoring its surprise first win following a recent improvement in performance.

“Today is just fantastic for this team. Everybody has been working so hard, we had a difficult start to the season but we’ve shown that we’ve made progress and we were quick,” she told e-racing365.

“It doesn’t happen every day so we take it and we celebrate it and we’re proud of it. It wasn’t a straight-out victory from an on-track fight but that’s motorsport sometimes, and we were in the right place at the right time.

“I can absolutely sympathize with Techeetah and Andre Lotterer, and if I were in their shoes, I would feel robbed of the victory, without a doubt.”

It was the second consecutive race where Mortara found himself at the front of the field in the latter stages, after quiet but consistent runs in both Hong Kong and Mexico City.

“I was obviously lucky today to win this race, mainly because Sam got a penalty,” he told e-racing365. “You also need to put yourself in the position to get these results.

“It’s like Mexico, when we were very lucky on the last lap but you need to put yourself in the position.

“Twice in a row, normally it doesn’t happen that much, but we’ll take it. It’s our first victory altogether, for Venturi, for me.”

Sam Smith contributed to this report.

RESULTS: Hong Kong E-Prix (Updated, Provisional)

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist who is e-racing365's Managing Editor and also European Editor for Sportscar365. He is a student of Politics and International Relations. Contact Jake

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