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09 Mar 19
With just hours to go until the 2019 HKT Hong Kong E-Prix - the 50th Formula E race - here's what to look out for in the race on March 10.
"We've seen the chequered flag here in Hong Kong but just not the trophy," said Team Principal Allan McNish with a wry smile. In the chaotic season opener in 2017, which saw Daniel Abt steal the win in the closing minutes of the race, the German driver was later disqualified following an administrative error, which stripped him of his maiden win on his 25th birthday. "From that point of view, there's a score to settle," said McNish. Currently ranked fifth in the teams' championship standings, the reigning champions have work to do to retain the title this season. As for Abt, the young hopeful is sitting just outside of the top ten in the standings - seven places behind his teammate Lucas di Grassi.
After clinching the win here in Hong Kong last season, Envision Virgin Racing's Sam Bird will be looking for a repeat performance on Sunday as he looks to improve on his respectable third-place championship standing. "The aim is to improve on my standing but it's going to be difficult, especially in these conditions - it's a complete lottery," said the British driver.
With a 70 per cent chance of rain at 16:00 when the race starts, Bird will be looking for a clear and clean day of racing to put him ahead of Antonio Felix da Costa (BMW i Andretti Motorsport) in second and Mahindra Racing's Jerome d'Ambrosio in first.
"We want to put on a good show for everybody - that's what Formula E is all about. This absolutely will be the first wet race in Formula E history."
"Qualifying is going to be really key here. If the race is a Safety Car race, then you need to have Qualified on Pole for the points."
Four years, five months and 25 days after the inaugural race in Beijing, and we find ourselves on the eve of our 50th E-Prix. Cue fireworks, party streamers and a healthy amount of champagne – what started as nothing more than a dream scribbled on the back of a napkin in 2011 is celebrating its half-century. Bravo. In that time, we’ve raced in 20 cities, across five continents, seen 13 global manufactures commit to the series and witnessed 10 different drivers take to the top step of the podium. Thank you all, it’s been one hell of a ride but fear not, the best is yet to come.
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