This win, unlike the earlier
one, was well deserved as Felix Rosenqvist of Mahindra Racing bided his time
and made amends for missing out on victory in Marrakesh last year with a late
move on Sebastien Buemi to clinch his second consecutive win of the season in
FIA Formula E race. The other Mahindra Racing driver Nick Heidfeld came in 7th
and grabbed 6 points for the team. Formula E now returns on February 3 for the
first-ever running of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship on the streets of
Santiago in Chile.
2018 ABB FIA Formula E Marrakesh E-Prix (Rd
DS Virgin Racing
Nelson Piquet Jr
Panasonic Jaguar Racing
Jose Maria Lopez
Andretti Formula E
ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport
Venturi Formula E
Venturi Formula E Team
Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler
NIO Formula E Team
The Mahindra Racing driver
looked comfortable in the fight at the front and closely followed Buemi for the
second stint ready to pounce. The Swede, who was fortunate to complete the
distance after a battery change between qualifying and the race, stuck behind
the slipstream of the Renault e.dams driver and made a lunge up the inside of
Turn 7 to take the lead.
From there Rosenqvist didn’t
look back and held on to victory at the same venue where he lost out on the win
in only his second-ever Formula E race. It’s the first time Rosenqvist has
stood at the top of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship standings, four points
clear of DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird who came home in third place.
Buemi, who only managed to
score a solitary point in the opening two rounds in Hong Kong, showed a return
to form starting from the front of the grid from Julius Baer pole position. The
Swiss champion made a clean getaway and led through the pitstop phase, but
ultimately lost out to Rosenqvist.
However, it wasn’t such plain
sailing for Buemi as his preparations were hampered by an issue with the water
pump. The Renault e.dams engineers had to invert the order of his cars to
ensure they could fix the problem and get him out in time.
It was a similar story for
Bird, who remained behind the rear wing of Buemi in the opening laps but gave
up the position to Rosenqvist after a recurring technical issue caused him to
slow down. Despite relinquishing the place, Bird took the chequered flag in
third place to continue his strong start to the season.
Another name carrying over
form from Hong Kong was season one champion Nelson Piquet Jr, who equalled his
best-placed finish of the current campaign in fourth for Panasonic Jaguar
Racing and scored the extra point for Visa fastest lap. The Brazilian gained a
place in the mandatory car swap, coming out ahead of Jose Maria Lopez making
his Formula E return with the Dragon outfit.
Lopez, who’s familiar with
the Marrakesh surroundings having raced here in other categories - put on an
impressive performance from the second row of the grid to collect eight points
in sixth-place behind Jean-Eric Vergne for Techeetah.
Rosenqvist’s team-mate Nick Heidfeld scythed
his way through the pack to finish seventh after hitting the wall during
qualifying. Formula E debutant Tom Blomqvist claimed points in his first-ever
race for Andretti in eighth.
It wasn’t a day to remember for Nico Prost.
The Frenchman and three-time E-Prix winner was pitched into a spin by Andre
Lotterer sending him to the back of the field, and later picked up a 20-second
post-race penalty for speeding under Full Course Yellow - leaving Alex Lynn and
Daniel Abt to round out the top-10 positions.
Source and Pictures: FIA Formula E
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