Renault e.Dams were able to optimise Sebastien Buemi’s strategy to perfection, as the team looked to recover from a poor qualifying session earlier in the day.
Buemi qualified in fifth place for the Hong Kong ePrix, but the Swiss driver was able to move up to third place during the first stint of the race before the pit stop phase.
The safety car was brought out just before pit stop window opened, but the e.Dams team took a risk and pitted under safety car conditions to effectively gain a free pit stop.
The early pit stop meant that the Swiss driver would need to manage his energy throughout the second stint to make it to the chequered flag.
Buemi emerged in second place overall after everyone made their pit stops leaving him to pass Lucas Di Grassi, who had managed to come from the back of the field to lead the race by taking advantage of the safety car period.
Buemi was able to pass his Brazilian rival and raced away to chequered flag to claim the first win of the season. The Swiss driver thought that pitting under the safety car decision was wrong, but it turned out to be the best decision of the day.
“Initially I thought we’d made a mistake when we made our pit stop under the safety car, but as we saw it all worked out perfectly. I’m happy with today’s result, but we certainly had to fight for it.
“We saw in qualifying just how hard everyone was pushing, and the race was not easy for us. I felt a lot happier with the second car today as we made some set-up changes, but overall this has been a great weekend and a superb way to start the season,” said Buemi.
Nicolas Prost came from tenth on the grid to finish in fourth place, but the French driver had a tough start to the race, as Prost was in the wrong start mode at the start which saw him drop back at the start of the race.
“I don’t know exactly what happened on the first lap as I got stuck in the wrong mode and I lost a load of places. Fortunately, I was back into the correct mode on the straight so I fought like hell to overtake everyone I could. I was really going for every gap possible!
“In the end, our race turned out really well, and we had a great strategy. It was a fantastic result for the team today, so I’m really happy for everyone,” said Prost.
After the first race of the season, Renault e.Dams lead the constructor’s championship with 37 points, 19 points ahead of Audi Sport ABT and Amlin Andretti.