The ABB Formula E Stay at Home Challenge returned to the Hong Kong E-Prix street circuit for Round 4 with Maximillian Gunther leading the drivers’ standings.
At the previous round at a virtual Monaco, Mahindra Racing’s Pascal Wehrlein became the second winner so far in the Race At Home Challenge.
After the chaos of the first corner, he ran a smooth and consistent race of few mistakes which meant that the top three positions weren’t fought out for; consistency was key for Wehrlein to ensure that he was not challenged.
A reminder of the basic details for the Race At Home Challenge (Drivers’ Race):
- In-game damage set to 80%
- The full 24-car-grid of real-life Formula E drivers.
- Race Royale/Elimination-Style – 12 drivers are left to get to the checkered flag
- Championship points (awarded like in the real championship – top 10 awarded points & one point offered for fastest lap in the race and one for pole position during qualifying)
Another reminder also worth mentioning is the format of the race day:
The Race At Home Challenge consists of two grids – one full of sim-racers, and professional racing drivers and the other is the full FE grid.
After a free practice session (off-camera/broadcast), the drivers in their respective championship positions are organised into groups for ‘Group Qualifying’.
They will have one flying lap each to fight for pole position, like the FE drivers who get into Super Pole have to do in the real-life races.
The sim-racer/pro-driver grid have their Qualifying and a 15 lap race sessions before the FE drivers.
Also, the drivers do not need to apply energy-saving strategy as the virtual series focuses on the close on-track action.
After a wet qualifying session took place, Eduardo Mortara of ROKiT Venturi Racing emerged well on top with a time of 1:11.523 followed by Wehrlein (Mahindra Racing) behind by +0.273 and Vandoorne at +0.290.
Shortly after the red lights went out, the field was closely packed at a chaotic turn one. The pole-sitter managed to escape any contact whilst Wehrlein was unlucky behind as he spun around.
Max Guenther of BMW i Andretti Motorsport found himself amongst the turn one chaos to lose his third position and faced a time penalty for jumping the start; he dropped to 13th position.
James Calado of Panasonic Jaguar Racing made the most of the madness, having put himself amongst the front pack.
Mortara controlled the race by a two-and-a-half second lead until contact against a wall caused him to fall to P5, facing heavy damage too.
As for Max Gunther, a favourite in this series, he fell to the back of the pack after further contact against a wall. At the first chicane, he failed to thread-the-needle and crashed heavily and spun around.
The championship leader failed to make it to the end as he was eliminated four laps to the end of the race.
Pascal Wehrlein still held the lead ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne and James Calado. James was in a Mercedes-Benz EQ sandwich as Nyck De Vries was close behind and was keen to get past.
For the next laps, Calado defended from De Vries but managed to establish a gap of three seconds.
In the closing laps, Wehrlein had a four-second gap over Vandoorne and was victorious yet again.
Wehrlein’s victory had put him five points ahead in the championship lead.
Mercedes-Benz EQ’s Stoffel Vandoorne finished second again and Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s James Calado claimed his first podium for the team in third.
Nissan e.Dams and Mercedes-Benz EQ both claimed double-points finishes whilst NIO 333’s Ma Qinghua was a few seconds behind Oliver Rowland from finishing in P10 and within the points threshold like his teammate.
— ABB Formula E (@FIAFormulaE) May 16, 2020
|Formula E Race at Home Challenge – 2020 Calendar|
|Date||Race||Time (British Summer Time)|
|April 18 (Completed)||Pre-Season Test Round||15:30 BST|
|April 2 (Completed)||Round 1||15:30 BST|
|May 2 (Completed)||Round 2||15:30 BST|
|May 9 (Completed)||Round 3||15:30 BST|
|May 16 (Completed)||Round 4||15:30 BST|
|May 23||Round 5||15:30 BST|
|May 30||Round 6||15:30 BST|
|June 6||Round 7||15:30 BST|
|June 30||Round 8 – Grand Final||15:30 BST|