Jerome d'Ambrosio slams Felipe Nasr, Dragon for Hong Kong E-Prix clash
Jerome d'Ambrosio has slammed both Felipe Nasr and GEOX Dragon following the Hong Kong E-Prix, with a problem on the Brazilian's car resulting in Mahindra Racing's second double retirement in Formula E.
D'Ambrosio, who previously raced for the American Jay Penske-owned Dragon outfit from Seasons One-Four, joined Mahindra for the 2018/19 campaign after being replaced by Maximilian Gunther and has so far enjoyed success, taking a podium in Ad Diriyah before winning in Marrakesh.
Heading to Hong Kong on top in the Drivers' Championship, holding a seven-point advantage over Antonio Felix da Costa after the Mexico City E-Prix, d'Ambrosio had a difficult weekend which ultimately ended in retirement in Formula E's 50th race.
Performing his initial qualifying run in Group One under wet conditions, the Belgian failed to secure a place inside the Super Pole shootout, starting alongside team-mate Pascal Wehrlein on the back row of the grid in 22nd place.
Taking a cautious approach into the Hong Kong Central Harbourfront Circuit's tight Turn 1, d'Ambrosio was able to make up three positions on the opening lap, clearing the stricken Jaguar I-TYPE 3 of Nelson Piquet Jr before overtaking Alexander Sims and Jean-Eric Vergne.
Before d'Ambrosio could make any further inroads on the remainder of the field, the Belgian's race was over at the start of the second lap when Nasr crashed his GEOX Dragon car into the barriers at Turn 2, becoming a roadblock.
Unable to negotiate a route around the Brazilian, Wehrlein piled into the back of the driver while d'Ambrosio followed, with all three drivers retiring as a result of the incident before the red flag was waved, leading to a stoppage in racing.
"I think it’s ridiculous,” said d'Ambrosio, reacting to the incident immediately after stepping out of his M5Electro.
“If you’ve got a guy like [Felipe] Nasr obviously having something really wrong in his car causing a huge amount of smoke - we couldn’t see in a straight line - his car was going to break down at one point which is what happened in the middle of a corner.
"He caused a collision, Dragon should have told him to pit and he should’ve pitted and he should be given a penalty for the next race.
"He caused a collision, it’s dangerous, we’re driving on tight circuits and if your car is not going to finish the race, obviously, you should just pit and make it safe and then go back out. You shouldn't wait for the control tower to tell you that when it's so obvious.
"It’s disappointing. We took it easy with Pascal [Wehrlein], we knew that there was going to be incidents but unfortunately it was us as well.
"Very poor job, poor standards from both his team and him not to pit earlier."
As a result of retiring in Hong Kong, d'Ambrosio no longer leads the Drivers' Championship, with Envision Virgin Racing's Sam Bird now holding a one-point advantage at the top of the table as Formula E heads to Sanya on March 23.