Maximilian Guenther stormed to a dominant victory in the official opening round of Formula E’s Race at Home Challenge contested on the streets of Hong Kong.
Winner in last week’s pre-series test round, Guenther qualified on the grid’s second row with Mercedes EQ’s Stoffel Vandoorne taking pole position.
A strong start from pole, Vandoorne held a comfortable lead of 0.8s over of Pascal Wehrlein and Cassidy.
Dropping to fourth after the opening tour, Guenther remained in-touch with Wehrlein and Cassidy, stealing away both positions in an opportunistic lunge into turn two.
The German racer then inherited the lead when Vandoorne crashed from the lead a handful of corners later, going on to claim a dominant victory over Cassidy by 2.2seconds.
Wehrlein rounded off the podium for Mahindra Racing while a hard charging Robin Frijns worked his through the field after a disappointing qualifying left him seventh on the grid, securing fourth at the chequered flag.
A wounded Vandoorne pulled off a valiant effort to finish in fifth, ahead of a hotly contested battle between the Nissan e.dams of Oliver Rowland and NIO’s Oliver Turvey which resulted in Rowland edging Turvey home on the run to the line.
With the damage level turned up 80% for the first champion race, Andre Lotterer and James Calado both retired early due to separate collisions.
Fellow kiwis Brendon Hartley and Mitch Evans experienced difficult races. The pair finishing the race in 16th and 17th having been eliminated early on in the Battle-Royale race format.
“It wasn’t an easy race,” said Guenther “Even though it’s not the real world, we’re all competitive and we want to be at the front.”
|19||Antonio Felix da Costa|
|23||Nyck de Vries|
|24||Lucas di Grassi|