Sam Bird has provisionally taken victory at the Hong Kong E-Prix after late drama between the Brit and DS Techeetah’s Andre Lotterer saw the German get a puncture on the penultimate lap of the race.
Lotterer had gained the lead from Bird when the Brit made a mistake at the 90-degree right hander of Turn 2.
From then on, the two fought throughout the race however when Bird nudged the back of the Techeetah going into Turn 2, with one lap to go, it gave the German a puncture.
Lotterer would make it to the end of the race as he limped round the 1.86km track , eventually 25 seconds off. The incident is under investigation.
Pole sitter Stoffel Vandoorne had a bad start and relinquished the lead to Oliver Rowland, Sam Bird swiftly went past the Belgian as well on lap 2.
The red flag was out not long after, after Nasr crashed blocking the track for the two Mahindras who would retire with damage.
On the restart, all but Robin Frijns and Daniel Abt armed attack mode, which lead to Lotterer passing Vandoorne. The second lap after the restart Rowland started slowing, a nudge from Bird and meant he put the Full Course Yellow limiter on, and he dropped to tenth. This gave Bird the lead for the straight between Turns 1 and 2, as the Brit made a mistake and swiftly gave the lead to Lotterer.
The top two then started pulling away from Vandoorne and the gap between them at its largest would be just shy of ten seconds.
Vandoorne was passed by Edoardo Mortara when the Venturi driver used his second attack mode, however, the day would get worse for the pole sitter as Vandoorne’s HWA ground to a halt after Turn 6 with a driveshaft issue. It would cause a second safety car.
The restart once again proved the opportunity for those to use their second Attack Mode as the battle between Bird and Lotterer re-commenced. The German would later make a small mistake at Turn 2 but it wouldn’t be enough for Bird to go through.
Then with five minutes to go, Rowland stopped out on track with damage bringing out a third and final safety car. The car was swiftly removed so that race could commence with two minutes and a lap left on the clock.
Then on the penultimate lap, the race long battle between Bird and Lotterer ended when the German got a puncture after contact, giving Bird the win, the first double winner of the season so far.
Mortara finished second ahead of Lucas Di Grassi, Robin Frijns in fourth, Daniel Abt fifth, Felipe Massa sixth, Mitch Evans in seventh, Gary Paffett in eighth, Oliver Turvey ninth and Antonio Felix Da Costa rounding out the top ten.