Formula E Hong Kong: Sebastien Buemi Holds On to Win Season Opener

Defending FIA Formula E champion Sebastien Buemi driving for Renault e dams started the electric car racing series’ third season where he left off last year by winning the Hong Kong ePrix on Saturday.

Buemi fought with soaring battery temperatures in his race car to hold on for the win, but it was a major issue as he explained after the 45-lap race.

“I had to save a lot of energy and then the temperatures were really high at the end,” said the season two champion. “I’m not sure I could have done another lap.”

Buemi’s winning margin of victory in the 45-lap race was 2.477 seconds over Audi Abt team driver Lucas di Grassi, who charged from 17th place on the grid to reach the podium.

German driver, Nick Heidfeld, impressively managed his car’s battery energy to finish third for India’s Mahindra team.

Buemi took the lead in the second half of the race, when leader Sam Bird’s DS Virgin Racing car failed to pull out of the pits from his mandatory car swap.

Fifteen of the 20 starters finished the race. Seven cars were within 30 seconds of Buemi when the race ended.

SEE ALSO: Formula E Cars Get ‘Futuristic’ Look For Season Three

Formula E is starting its third season with several new teams and drivers.

Nelson Piquet Jr grabbed the pole position for NextEV TC’s first ever race, but finished a disappointing 11th after losing positions avoiding a crash on the course.

Faraday Future’s Dragon Racing two first time entrants finished seventh and eighth, while Jaguar in their Formula E debut ended up in 12th place.

This was Hong Kong’s first time to host a Formula E race, and all 30,000 tickets were sold for the race that took place on a 1.9-mile (2.5 kilometers) city street circuit.

The championship now moves to North Africa for the first time, with the Marrakesh ePrix on November 12.