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Audi decides against Hong Kong Formula E appeal

(Reuters) - Audi will not appeal against Daniel Abt’s disqualification from Sunday’s Hong Kong Formula E race after reviewing documents and processes, the team said on Monday.

The German driver was initially hailed as the winner on his 25th birthday before being ruled out because FIA stickers on the inverters and motors did not match the car’s technical documentation.

Team principal Allan McNish said in a statement that the team accepted they had made “a small mistake with big consequences” and apologized.

“We gained no advantage as a result of the administrative error and all parts fully complied to homologation and the technical regulations at all times,” he said.

“Still, we accept the decision of the FIA and fully back the technical passport regulations.”

The incident was part of a bumpy start for Formula E’s fourth season, with Saturday’s chaotic opener halted moments after the start by a crash that blocked the track and brought out a red flag for the first time.

The race resumed behind the safety car after a half hour delay.

The second race also began behind the safety car after a problem with the start lights.

Four-times Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton’s attempt to show an interest in the series also backfired when he posted a clip on Instagram, which was subsequently deleted, criticizing driving standards.

The Briton expressed concern about former F1 driver Nick Heidfeld, whose car was seen flying through the air after a collision with French driver Nicolas Prost. The clip was from the very first Formula E race in Beijing in 2014.

Heidfeld posted a joking reply on Twitter from an airport on Monday, thanking Hamilton and assuring him that he had landed safely and was well.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ed Osmond