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Sebastien Buemi gets title defence kicked off with a win

  • Published on 09 Oct 2016 12:40
  • comments 0
  • By: Dominik Wilde

Sebastien Buemi survived carnage on the streets of Hong Kong to win the first race of the 2016/17 Formula E season.

The reigning champion started from fifth on the grid but made the most of the safety car period and his team's strategy to win the race.

Pole sitter Nelson Piquet dominated the early stages before making light contact with the wall while trying to avoid the stricken DS Virgin entry of Jose Maria Lopez, who had crashed at the chicane which had been controversially altered following practice.

Following Piquet's off it looked as if Sam Bird would take the win. The Brit, in the other DS Virgin car got by Piquet's team mate Oliver Turvay early on and was leading when he pitted to switch car, only for his second car to encounter a problem which saw him drop back a lap.

That handed Buemi a lead he would not relinquish. Behind him, Lucas Digrassi fought back from earlier damage to take second place, with Mahindra's Nick Heidfeld in third - mirroring last season's opening race podium.

Nicolas Prot was fourth, ahead of the Andretti duo of Antonio Felix da Costa and Robin Frijns. Both enjoyed remarkable races to achieve their top six results, but Frijns' finish was all the more impressive considering he spent the second half of the race driving a car hurriedly built in the build up to the race after he suffered a heavy crash in qualifying.

Jerome d'Ambrosio, Oliver Turvay, Maro Engel, and Stephane Sarrazin completed the top 10, with pole man and season one champion Nelson Piquet Jr. just missing out in 11th.

Jaguar made a strategy gamble, in what was their first Formula E race, which saw both Adam Carroll and Mitch Evans run in the top three before pitting. Carroll eventually finished in 12th place while Mitch Evans failed to complete the race.

Other retirements included Daniel Abt, Jean-Eric Vergne, Jose Maria Lopez, and Ma Qing Hua.

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  • Country New Zealand
  • Date of b. Jun 24 1994 (28)
  • Place of b. Auckland, New Zealand
  • Weight 62 kg
  • Length 1.74 m
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