I don’t feel like I won, says Felix Rosenqvist after Daniel Abt is stripped of Formula E Hong Kong E-Prix
Mahindra driver feels sorry for Audi rival after disqualification for technical infringement on dramatic day at Central Harbourfront
Felix Rosenqvist experienced pretty much all the emotions a racing driver can at Sunday’s HKT Hong Kong E-Prix.
The Mahindra star was elevated to first place in the second race of the season-opening double-header for his second Formula E win after Daniel Abt was disqualified for a technical infringement.
“I feel sorry for Daniel, he won the race on track. It is not the way you want to win and I do not feel like I’ve won the race,” said the Swede.
“There has been a lot of ups and downs all weekend. But I am happy with taking away 29 points – for pole, winning the race and fastest lap. It’s a lot of points.”
Just hours after the race, Abt was stripped of the 25 points on his 25th birthday because of the post-race penalty, imposed after it was found the FIA security sticker bar codes on his inverter and MGU units did not match with the ones declared on his technical passport for the weekend.
The result is pending, subject to an appeal by Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler to the FIA’s international tribunal in Paris.
Sunday’s race had already provided plenty of drama for Rosenqvist before Abt’s disqualification. The 26-year-old led the field from the start behind the safety car because of a start light failure, only to drop down to P11 after spinning at the first corner having struggled with his brakes all weekend.
“I honestly can’t remember the last time I went through so many different emotions in two days,” said Rosenqvist, who finished 14th in Saturday’s first race but now sits third in the FIA Formula E Championship.
“This goes to prove that everything really can happen in motorsport; I’m a bit lost for words but pleased that we got our season underway in this manner.”
German Abt had taken the lead with two laps to go after Edoardo Mortara, cruising to victory, spun his Venturi at turn two.
Mortara, famed for six wins at the Macau Grand Prix, admitted he made a mistake pushing to get an extra point for the fastest lap in what was only his second E-Prix. He finished third behind Rosenqvist but was later promoted to second.
“It’s difficult to find the words actually after a race like that. It’s tough to swallow,” said Mortara. “We had the pace and managed the race from the beginning to the end.
“Sometimes you need to admit it – you were too confident and I should’ve focused on bringing home the win.”
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Abt’s disqualification also granted a first Formula E podium for New Zealand’s 23-year-old Mitch Evans and his Panasonic Jaguar team.
“I’m proud,” said Evans. “It’s bittersweet as Daniel is a good guy and a mate of mine. After a tough year in our first season, this is a great reward for the hard work of everyone in the team. We will celebrate this achievement together and then work hard to repeat it.”