Robin Frijns thought his race was over before it had even begun after his heavy crash in qualifying.
His mistake at turn five resulted in a shunt that destroyed his MS Amlin Andretti car and saw him start the Hong Kong ePrix at the back of the grid.
Due to various delays and red flags in the session, his team only had two hours to repair his car for the race.
“I feel great,” said Frijns after the race.
“I felt really disappointed, especially for the team after qualifying with my big shunt. We already had a problem at the beginning of the lap – we had a sensor failure that made us slow. The shunt was my mistake.”
“The team repaired the car in two hours, which was really impressive because I thought my day was over. I started dead last and coasted a lot in my first car, especially at the beginning of the race, because I thought I would just let everyone go and just do my thing.”
This coasting proved to be an inspired choice and set the Dutchman up nicely for his second stint.
“I went one lap longer than anyone else [in the first stint], boxed and then I was able to push for the entire second stint and jumped back to P6.”
Frijns’ strategy to allow a gap to build up between him and the rest of the field at the start enabled him to miss the melee at the first turn, whereas Lucas Di Grassi who started alongside him ended up losing his front wing.
“I saw some yellow flags, but I was almost standing still. The lights went off, and everyone went, and I was already coasting. I already had a gap of about 50 metres to the cars in front of me.”
Overall, Frijns believes this is a great start to his 2016/17 season, which the team were not expecting after a difficult pre-season test.
“It’s truly positive today. Eight or nine guys were working on my car for two hours straight. They didn’t have a lot of lunch, so I’m paying for the beers I think!” said Frijns.