The FIA ABB Formula E Series continued their “Race At Home Series” today at the virtual Hong Kong circuit. It was round No. 4 of 8 for the virtual series.
After scoring the victory in last-weeks virtual series challenge, Mahindra Racing’s Pascal Wehrlein was hoping to keep his impressive performance streak going. However, when the series arrived at the virtual Hong Kong, Mahindra Racing E-sport driver Lucas Muller and Wehrlein completely set the standards for the Formula E field, as Muller went on to win the Challenge Series that features some of the top E-Sports drivers in the world, while Wehrlein won his second consecutive race.
Before the actual race, qualifying took place in wet conditions, but the race was run in dry conditions. However, it wasn’t all Muller as Porsche’s Joshua Rogers qualified on the pole position. When the lights went out, the event was mainly a clean race barring a couple of incidents. Up until the last-lap, Rogers had lead every lap, before Muller made a dive bomb move going into Turn 1 on the last-lap of the race. Rogers could not catch Muller, as Muller would set the pace and drive away from Rogers to take the win in at the virtual Hong Kong.
“I’m still a little bit speechless,” Muller said in the YouTube broadcast following the victory. “I can’t quite believe what happened, because I didn’t expect to fight for the win. I think he (Joshua) Rogers did a mistake in the chicane and after that, I was just closing in and getting faster. I thought it (taking the win) couldn’t happen, but it did.”
Like the Challenge Series, qualifying was seen in wet conditions, while the race only saw dry conditions. For qualifying, Edoardo Mortara of Venturi Racing qualified on the pole position with a time of 1:11.523.
Though, unlike the Challenge Series, where the race was mostly clean, the driver’s grid saw multiple incidents throughout the 15-lap event. In fact, the virtual Hong Kong saw a total number of 307 incidents. As the race went green, the drivers dove down into the first-turn of the race like they always do. However, many of the drivers except the first two positions went crashing into Turn 1. Due to the small corners and chicanes of the track layout, a lot of driver were stuck and piled into each other which created a big mess. Two drivers had difficulty off the start. One, was the championship leader, the 22-year old Maximilian Günther jumped the start and was given a drivers penalty. Eventually, Jean-Eric Vergne also had troubles of his own. After the accident, Vergne suffered too much damage to continue on and was regulated to a 24th place finish, last on the grid.
Until lap 5 of the race, it was all Venturi’s Mortara who had held the lead after the lap 1 chaos. However, he had an incident of his own, where missed the chicane. This allowed last-weeks winner, Pascal Wehrlein to take the lead. While Wehrlein took the lead and held the pace, Günther continued to experience difficulty as he would crash in one of the chicanes. This saw the Venturi driver fall all the way back to 19th and eventually eliminated due to the Battle Royal format. Since Günther was unable to finish, he would lose the championship points lead for the virtual series.
Meanwhile, Wehrlein stretched his lead and eventually took the checkered flag at the virtual Hong Kong. It was the second consecutive victory for Wehrlein in this series.
“Today was a bit special with qualifying in the wet conditions,” Wehrlein said in the YouTube broadcast. “That was unexpected for everyone, but in the race, it was a bit chaotic at the beginning. My car was actually a bit damaged, the steering wheel was to the left. I was fast in dry conditions as well and I brought it (the win) home.”
With the victory, Wehrlein has taken over the Championship Points Standings from Maximilian, as Wehrlein leads the German over five points with 70 total points currently. Günther fell to second and has 65 points overall in the Championship standings.
Official Results of the Driver’s Grid Challenge
- Pascal Wehrlein, led 11-laps
- Stoffel Vandoorne
- James Calado
- Nyck De Vries
- Edoardo Mortara, led 5-laps
- Antonio Felix da Costa
- Robin Frijns
- Oliver Turvey
- Sebastien Buemi
- Oliver Rowland
- Qinghua Ma
- Mitch Evans
- Daniel Abt
- Nico Mueller, OUT, Suspension
- Andre Lotterer, OUT, Suspension
- Neel Jani, OUT, Suspension
- Jerome D’ Ambrosio, OUT, Suspension
- Felipe Massa, OUT, Suspension
- Maximilian Günther, OUT, Suspension
- Sam Bird, OUT, DNF
- Lucas Di Grassi, OUT, Suspension
- Alexander Sims, OUT, Suspension
- Brendon Hartley, OUT, Suspension
- Jean-Eric Vergne, OUT, Accident
Official Challenge Series Results
- Lucas Mueller
- Joshua Rogers
- Kevin Siggy
- Peyo Peev
- Petar Brljak
- Nuno Pinto
- Jan von der Heyde
- Jim Parsis
- Niek Jacobs
- Ben Hitz
- Lorenz Hoerzing
- Alisdair Irvine
- Noah Reuvers
- Axel La Flamme
- Marius Golombeck
- Scott Sovik
- Markus Keller
- Gareth Paterson
- Charlie Martin
- Jacob Reid
- Jeol Eriksson
- Zexuan Liu
- Remco Majoor, Did Not Start
Up Next: The FIA ABB Formula E Virtual Series continues next Saturday with Round 5 of 8 of the Race At Home Series Challenge.