Representational image of Formula-E drivers on the track ahead of the FIA Formula E World Championship, in Hyderabad, on February 11, 2023
Jean Eric Vergne pulled off a victory for DS Penske in the action-packed Hyderabad E-Prix, marking a successful return of a high-profile motorsport event in India. The 33-lap electric race had fans on their feet, and Mahindra Racing impressed in their first home race. Oliver Rowland delivered a points finish for the team, finishing sixth from 10th on the grid. Unfortunately, the loss of energy in the final moments of the race saw them miss out on the chance of a double points finish.
Vergne beat out Envison Racing’s Nick Cassidy despite having less than 0.5% energy left in the car. Porsche’s Antonio Felix Da Costa secured the final podium spot after Sebastian Buemi received a 17-second penalty for ‘overpower’.
Track limits played a significant role in the event, as several drivers faced penalties or disqualifications. Mitch Evans of Jaguar Racing had secured the pole position but collided with his teammate, effectively ending the race for the team. Jake Hughes’ crash on lap 23 brought out the safety car, contributing to a thrilling finish.
FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem joined the exciting event, along with special guests Sachin Tendulkar, Shikhar Dhawan, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Sports Minister Anurag Thakur. A sizeable crowd enjoyed watching the electric cars race around the heart of the city, covering Hussain Sagar Lake, NTR Gardens, and NTR Park.
Greenko, a renewable energy company, organised the event with the support of the Telangana government. The organisers had raced against time to get the Hyderabad Street Circuit prepared for Formula E’s debut in India. In the end, they managed to pull off the event amid much fanfare.