A drive through penalty could not stop Sam Bird as he drove a brilliant race to secure victory in Hong Kong.
Bird, was given a drive-through penalty for an unsafe pit stop after he missed timed his entrance into his pit box an had to jump out of his car outside of his garage.
The Brit only lost 9 seconds with his drive-through penalty. Normally you would lose about 20 seconds with a drive-through penalty, but the way the Hong Kong pitlane is designed Bird only lost a small amount of time.
Jean-Eric Vergne and Nick Heidfeld fought hard for second place, but Vergne was able to finish ahead of Heidfeld and claim their first podiums of the season.
Maro Engel drove a great race and crossed the line fourth but was given a penalty for using more power than he should have.
The race start
The race was red flagged on lap one after Andre Lotterer came to halt at the turn 3 and 4 chicanes. The German caused a roadblock which forced the race to be red flagged. The cars came back into the pitlane and restarted under the safety car.
Nick Heidfeld and Oliver Turvey got a great start at the first getaway, but Heidfeld who seemed to overtake Bird on the outside of turn one got hung out to dry and fell down the order. Whereas Turvey was able to move up three places after moving around the outside of turn one.
After a 25 minute delay, the race was restarted, and Vergne was able to hold off Bird after the safety car restart. Luca Flippli caught Felix Rosenqvust and sent the Swede spinning at turn one.
Heidfeld was trying to find a way past Turvey for third place, and the German tried a move around the outside and was not able to get the move done, but it allowed Daniel Abt to get alongside Heidfeld and pass him.
Di Grassi and Buemi joined the battle for third and made it a five-car fight for the final podium position. However, di Grassi had to pit due to a damaged rear right wheel.
Turvey then ran into problems and allowed Abt to move into third place just before the pit stop window.
Bird pulled a great move on lap 20 to pass Vergne for the lead of the race, as the brit dived down the inside of turn 7 to move into the lead of the race.
Pit stop window
Drivers started to pit on lap 21, Bird missed his pit box and jumped out of the car outside of the garage and ran to his second car, but was able to retain the lead of the race.
Buemi came to a stop on track shortly after his pit stop. The Swiss driver was able to restart the car quickly and didn’t lose too much time after his car shut down.
Bird was given a drive-through penalty for an unsafe pit stop but was able to retain the lead of the race despite having a nine-second advantage over Vergne and Heidfeld.
The fight for fourth became interesting the final few laps as Rosenqvist was knocking on the door of Maro Engel. Rosenqvist who had to come back through the field from 15th place to be fighting for fourth.
Nelson Piquet Jr managed to force his way pass Rosenqvist on the final lap. The Swede looked like he ran into problems as he tumbled down the order and finished in eighth place.
However, no one could stop Sam Bird as he powered to his first victory of the season.