China Racing Formula E Team had the honour to race in front of a home crowd during the inaugural ePrix of the all-electric FIA Formula E Championship. Former F1 star Nelson Piquet jr. and Ho-Pin Tung were pushing for results, but were not able to take a champagne shower after the 25 race laps were completed.
In comparison with most other drivers, Piquet jr. and Tung weren’t able to fulfil five full pre-season test days ahead of the inaugural race. And that might have caused small issues that prevented them to shine.
“I’m proud to be racing in Formula E with Team China, especially around the Beijing Olympic Park,” said Tung. “But also I’m still hugely disappointed. Despite missing almost all pre-season testing we showed speed in practice with a third place. But a crash, bad luck and technical issues made it a weekend to forget. As a team we’re looking forward: we have a great crew and the speed is there. Add a bit of luck and we’ll be fine.”
Piquet jr. experienced a difficult beginning of the season, but was happy to get back behind the wheel of a formula racing car after five years. The Brazilian driver enjoyed duelling with Takuma Sato and Orial Servia during the first half of the race. “I should have saved energy in the beginning, but I was excited and did not have any clean laps like Franck Montagny. He put himself in a good position and ended up on the podium. Anyway, we are facing strong competitors and I’m happy to race against them.”
Piquet jr. dropped slowly out of the top five and was ultimately classified in position eight. “It was important to finish the race and we gathered data for the next events. We know where we want to improve, so I can’t wait for Malaysia,” he said.
The next round is on 22 November in Putrajaya, Malaysia.