Reigning FIA Formula E champion Sebastien Buemi got his title defence off to the perfect start with victory in the 2016 HKT Hong Kong ePrix.

With 30,000 people attending the event, the new Formula E season began with one of the most unpredictable races so far.

Buemi hit the front in the second half of the race when Sam Bird pitted for his mandatory car swap. But the DS Virgin Racing car failed to pull out of the pits, allowing Buemi, who had made his stop under the Qualcomm Safety Car, to take over out front for his seventh Formula E win. 

"We had identified a window when we knew we could pit," said Buemi according to Fia Formula e. "I was surprised that Sam did not come in. But I'm happy with how it went - it was very tough. In the first car I didn't have the pace to go much quicker, but in the second car was much more competitive."

From the start it was Julius Baer pole position man Nelson Piquet Jr. who led into the tight first corner, and the Brazilian held a comfortable lead over his team-mate Oliver Turvey in the early stages. Turvey had his hands full defending from Bird and Buemi, while behind them bumping and barging resulted in numerous contact; local hero Ma Qing Hua retiring and both ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport cars of Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi being shown the black and orange flag, ordering them to pit for mechanical repairs.

During this period there was also some contact between Bird and his DS Virgin racing team-mate Jose Maria Lopez and the damage to 'Pechito's' car had made it a real handful. Finally, he lost the fight and crashed into the barriers at the chicane.

Oct. 9, 2016 Driving photo: Fia Formula e

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