Hong Kong E-Prix: Mahindra loses title lead after double DNF
Mahindra Racing endured a difficult start to the Asian leg of the ABB FIA Formula E season, with both drivers eliminated in the early laps of the Hong Kong E-Prix.
Mahindra had scored a podium and a win in Hong Kong last season, but the new Gen2-based M5 Electro didn’t appear to have the same pace, particularly in wet conditions that prevailed in qualifying.
That left the team on the back row of the grid, with Pascal Wehrlein starting just ahead of Jerome d’Ambrosio.
The two drivers started making some progress when the race began, aided by the track being almost completely dry.
But before they could make further inroads, Dragon’s Felipe Nasr, who appeared to be nursing a technical problem, crashed at the tight turn 2 right-hander, blocking half the track.
Wehrlein was running right behind the Brazilian driver and had no opportunity to avoid him, clattering onto the back of him and causing a traffic jam.
D’Ambrosio joined them moments later, with the resulting damage forcing both Mahindra drivers to retire from the race with immediate effect.
"I think it's ridiculous," d'Ambrosio said. "If you've got a guy like Nasr having obviously something really wrong on his car causing a huge amount of smoke, we couldn't see in a straight line. He caused the collision."
"They should have told him to pit and they should give him a penalty for the next race because the collision is dangerous"
Mahindra has slipped to second in the teams’ standings behind DS Virgin after Sam Bird provisionally claimed the race win.
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