2017-18 Formula E: Mahindra Racing wins season opener in Hong Kong

Picking up where they left off, Mahindra Racing has a stellar outing in Hong Kong as they lead the championship after the first weekend of races of the 2017-18 season of Formula e. Although they could have ended up with more points, still it is the first time an Indian manufacturer has led the championship of any FIA-sanctioned series.

The first race on Saturday saw the Nick Heidfield from Mahindra Racing clinch the third position, behind winner Sam Bird of DS Virgin Racing  and Jean-Eric Vergne of Techeetah.  This was the eighth third-position finish overall for Heidfield. Teammate Felix Rosenqvist failed to score any points due to a technical infringement on the team’s part.

Determined to make things right, Rosenqvist set a belter of a lap in qualifying and followed it up with an even better one in Super Pole to grab pole position for Sunday’s race. The race started behind the Safety Car, a first for the series. As soon as the Safety Car pulled into the pits, Rosenqvist decided to make a break for it. However, he cooked up the braking for the first corner and spun his M4Electro, dropping down to eleventh. Steadily he made his way through the pack; some audacious moves were carried out in the process. He did recover to climb up to second spot, setting the fastest lap along the way. The drama did not end there as winner Daniel Abt was disqualified on grounds of his car’s components not matching up. Thus, Felix inherited the win from the Audi driver.

Nick on the other hand had a disappointing Sunday. He was impeded at start due to Felix’s spin and a software issue forced him to stop on the circuit, reset the controls and rejoin the race nearly a lap down on the leaders. Nevertheless, an eleventh place finish was far better than what they hoped when disaster did strike upon them.

With 44 points, Mahindra Racing leads the constructor’s championship from DS Virgin Racing, three points separating the two teams. Techeetah sits a further eight points behind the two in third while reigning champions Renault E Dams had a forgetful opening weekend as they could only manage to garner seven points, languishing down in ninth spot. The next race will take place on January 13, 2018 at Marrakesh, Morocco. With 12 more races to go, Mahindra Racing has started on a positive note and will look to get more podiums and wins.

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