Edoardo Mortara wins controversial Hong Kong E Prix

HONG KONG, HONG KONG - DECEMBER 03: In this handout from FIA Formula E -   Edoardo Mortara (ITA) Venturi Formula E, Venturi VM200-FE-03 during the Hong Kong ePrix, Round 2 of the 2017/18 FIA Formula E Series at the Central Harbourfront Circuit on December 03, 2017 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. (Photo by Alastair Staley/LAT Images/FIA Formula E via Getty Images)
Mortara wins controversial Hong Kong E Prix
05:00 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

Edoardo Mortara was eventually crowned the winner of the Hong Kong E Prix after yet another dramatic end to a Formula E race.

The Venturi driver had initially reached the chequered flag in second place but provisional winner Sam Bird was subsequently handed a five-second time penalty for an earlier altercation.

The Envision Virgin driver was clearly muted in his celebrations at the finish line, knowing an investigation was underway. Race stewards spent more than four hours deliberating the decision before finally announcing the result.

‘Disgusting move’

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Battling for the lead ahead of the final lap, Bird had bumped into the back of race leader Andre Lotterer, resulting in the Techeetah driver suffering a puncture.

With Lotterer out of the race, Bird was able to storm to what he thought was his second win of the season.

“I tried to go down the inside and Andre [Lotterer] late defended,” Bird said when asked about the contact. “It’s a big shame and my heart goes out to him.”

Lotterer was far less diplomatic about the manner in which his race ended, branding the move “disgusting.”

“If they let that go, I don’t know what we’re doing out there. I don’t know what I could have done different,” he said after the race, still visibly angry.

“The race was fair up until that point but that’s what you call a disgusting move. It’s not really the way we should race. I lost it thanks to him.”

Andre Lotterer's Techeetah team react to the late controversy.

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There was high drama throughout the race, with eight cars failing to finish. The previous championship leader Jerome d’Ambrosio was one of those to suffer a red flag after being caught up in a collision.

Lucas di Grassi and Robin Frijns were finally confirmed as the other the podium finishers – coming second and third respectively.

This isn’t the first time a Formula E race has finished in excitement. During the last E Prx in Mexico, di Grassi overtook race leader Pascal Wehrlein as his battery died on the line.

Mortara’s inherited win is his first in Formula E and also his team Venturi’s first in the series.

Despite dropping to sixth, Bird still leads the drivers’ standings by one point.