'Very unlucky' Lopez: Hong Kong FE setback like 'last 10' races
|By Tom Errington||Thursday, March 14th 2019, 16:05 GMT|
Jose Maria Lopez says his Hong Kong E-Prix was "very unlucky" and like his "last 10 weekends" in ABB FIA Formula E after contact in the mid-pack derailed his race.
Dragon Racing's Lopez finished 11th in Hong Kong after he was hit at the Turn 1 hairpin by team-mate Felipe Nasr, which forced him into the pits under the early safety car to change his front wing and replace a punctured tyre.
He returned to the track just as a red flag was called for a collision between team-mate Nasr and the Mahindra Racing pairing of Pascal Wehrlein and Jerome D'Ambrosio meaning Lopez lost four places for his unplanned stop.
Lopez then attempted to use attack mode later than everyone else late on to regain places, but was stopped by a safety car caused by Oliver Rowland, and the extra power went to waste.
It means Lopez has scored just two points from the last five races - last-placed Dragon's only points - and he has finished in the top 10 just twice in the last 10 races.
Lopez told Autosport: "The last 10 weekends have been the same.
"You arrive into Turn 1 and get a big lock-up on the rear tyres and [Nasr] hit me quite hard and it broke the floor and I got sideways. I hit the wall with the front wing and after Turn 1 I already had front and rear damage.
"There was a lot of smoking coming out of the corner from the car.
"Then we had a safety car, full course yellow, they put it out and it wasn't red flagged so we decided to come in and change the tyre and the front wing.
"We lost four positions and then there was a red flag.
"So very unlucky. It was a decent race, pace was good, quickest second sector. "But when you're in the back, it's really hard. No-one overtook me.
"We decided to use attack mode at the end when everyone else used it and we had a safety car, so we wasted it."
Lopez had qualified just 14th, two places ahead of team-mate and series rookie Nasr in the changeable conditions that affected the build-up to the Hong Kong E-Prix.
Asked where Dragon needed to improve, Lopez said: "We need to qualify better, we struggle with the grip - especially in the wet. The less grip we had on the track, the worse it was somehow.
"It's been [this way] lately in these kind of conditions, we struggle and we need to find out why.
"Definitely, we've been very unlucky and when one thing goes in the wrong way, it looks like everything does.
"But if we start from top six, seven, everything will change."