POOLE'S Sam Bird returned to the top of the Formula E standings despite late controversy in Hong Kong.

The 32-year-old fought his way from seventh on the grid to the front of the pack to set up a nose-to-tail battle with Andre Lotterer.

The pair made contact on the penultimate lap as they duelled for the lead, with Lotterer picking up a puncture.

Bird went on to take the chequered flag but a post-race investigation by the stewards handed him a five-second penalty and sixth in the final classification.

The result left the Envision Virgin Racing driver with a one-point advantage over second-place Jerome D'Ambrosio.

"It’s a shame the race ended the way it did but I accept the stewards’ decision regarding the incident with Andre," said Bird. "As a team, we still came away with some good points, especially after a difficult qualifying session, and we know we have the pace to compete at the front, which gives us confidence moving forward.

"We’ll now regroup, put it behind us and look to do our best at the next race in Sanya.”

Envision Virgin Racing also lead the constructor standings after Robin Frijns finished third.