Daniel Abt’s joy after claiming his first Formula E victory in Hong Kong on Sunday was short-lived after the FIA stewards disqualified him in the hours following the race over a powertrain infringement.
Abt capitalized on a late error by Edoardo Mortara to snatch the lead of the race with three laps to go, holding on to seemingly secure his maiden win in the category on his 25th birthday.
The Audi team’s spirited celebrations were doused around three hours after the race finished when the FIA stewards confirmed Abt’s car had not complied with the technical regulations.
As per the FIA statement: “The FIA security stickers (barcodes) on the inverter and MGU units did not correspond with those declared on the Technical Passport provided by the competitor Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler for the event.”
As a result, Abt was disqualified, making pole-sitter Felix Rosenqvist the race winner for Mahindra.
Rosenqvist had taken his fourth Formula E pole position earlier in the day, but appeared to throw away his chance to win after spinning at Turn 1 when the race went green on Lap 2 following a safety car start.
Rosenqvist dropped to 11th, but was able to fight his way back up the order through the race, taking P2 late on following Mortara’s spin.
Mortara had himself taken the lead from Rosenqvist after the Swede’s Turn 1 error, and dominated proceedings throughout, running around three seconds clear of Abt heading into the closing stages.
A regen error caused Mortara to lock his rear brakes and spin his Venturi car at Turn 2 on Lap 43 of 45, spurning hopes of a maiden victory for the Monegasque team. His promotion to P2 after Abt’s disqualification does however mean he has matched its best-ever result in just two appearances.
Jaguar Racing was left to belatedly celebrate its maiden Formula E podium after Mitch Evans finished fourth on-track, rising to P3 in the final classification ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne and Sam Bird.
Oliver Turvey is now classified sixth for NIO, with Maro Engel and Nicolas Prost following in P8 and P9. Season two champion Sebastien Buemi also gets off the mark for the season with one point for P10.