Buemi wins Hong Kong FE opener

Motor Sport News - - Racing News - Pho­tos: LAT, Jakob Ebrey Rob Lad­brook on track, p22

Se­bastien Buemi kicked off his For­mula E ti­tle de­fence with vic­tory in a fre­netic 2016/17 sea­son opener in Hong Kong.

Nelson Pi­quet Jr turned his sur­prise pole into an early ad­van­tage, build­ing a four-sec­ond lead as Sam Bird and Buemi passed Oliver Tur­vey for sec­ond and third.

The race changed on lap 17, when Jose Maria Lopez crashed into the bar­ri­ers off the Turn 3/4 chi­cane.

Pi­quet was just be­hind on the road and nosed his car into the bar­ri­ers in avoid­ance. He was able to re­join but fell to third as Lopez’s sub­merged car prompted a safety car.

Buemi was one of sev­eral to stop and give him­self more laps to com­plete in his sec­ond car than those who stayed out, but gained track po­si­tion and a time ad­van­tage when the rest pit­ted.

He re­joined be­hind Lu­cas di Grassi but quickly passed the Brazil­ian, who was on an even more ag­gres­sive en­ergy-sav­ing strat­egy hav­ing pit­ted as the safety car was de­ployed af­ter break­ing his front wing.

Af­ter lead­ers Pi­quet and Bird pit­ted, Buemi in­her­ited the lead and man­aged to eke his re­main­ing en­ergy out to win, with di Grassi a re­mark­able sec­ond and Nick Hei­d­feld third.

Jaguar un­der­whelmed on its re­turn to rac­ing, with Adam Car­roll fin­ish­ing 12th and Mitch Evans re­tir­ing.

F1 dom­i­na­tor Mercedes has 2018/19 FE spot

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