L&T Motorsport

Marrakesh ePrix race report

Sébastien Buemi made it two wins from two races after taking the chequered flag in Marrakesh. The Renault driver is quickly establishing himself as the man to beat, in a field of many challengers, and once again demonstrated just how formidable a combination he and his car can be.

Most of the race was led by pole-sitter Felix Rosenqvist until he was eventually overtaken by Buemi in the closing stages. A fantastic qualifying performance from the rookie, competing in only his second ePrix, was followed by an extremely competent performance in the race. With a great start from the line, he quickly built up a commanding lead over Sam Bird.

The gap allowed him to drive his own race, but by choosing to push hard early-on and run the shorter stint of the race first, he was unable to put up any defence in the last few laps.

Buemi, demoted five places from his qualifying position due to a defective fire extinguisher, quickly put pressure on the drivers ahead of him. A brave but perfectly-executed overtake of Daniel Abt on the hairpin allowed him to get out of traffic quickly and he was soon on the tail of Jean-Éric Vergne and Bird.

By the half-way stage, the field was once again split by strategy. Roseqvist had a comfortable 4.5 second lead coming in, but Bird (6% energy remaining) and Buemi (7%) risked an additional lap. Vergne pitted early, but was later found to have been speeding in the pit-lane; the subsequent drive-through penalty robbed him of a higher points finish.

Buemi leap-frogged Bird on the pit approach and held the advantage from that point onwards. Rosenqvist was the next target – almost 5 seconds ahead with only 9 laps to go, but now with significantly less “in the tank”. Thanks in part to a Fan Boost, it wasn’t long before the two were sharing the same section of track.

Advised not to defend by the garage, Roseqvist allowed Buemi past to take the lead of the race. Not far behind, Bird made up the 3-second gap and took P2 within a couple of minutes to settle the podium places.

Lucas di Grassi spent much of his race tussling with team-mate Daniel Abt, both of whom were unable to catch Nicolas Prost, who ran a steady race and finished 4th. Oliver Turvey also managed to stay out of trouble and worked his way to a good 7th-place finish.

Both António Félix da Costa and Loïc Duval suffered from car problems, scuppering their chances of finishing in the top ten, so separately made Fastest Lap attempts. Duval was the victor in this mini-battle, but arguably shouldn’t have remained on track given the number of yellow flags and rolling obstacles he caused.

 

Classification

Driver Team Pts
1. Sébastien Buemi 🇨🇭 Renault eDams 25
2. Sam Bird 🇬🇧 DS Virgin 18
3. Felix Rosenqvist 🇸🇪 Mahindra 15
4. Nicolas Prost 🇫🇷 Renault eDams 12
5. Lucas di Grassi 🇧🇷 Abt Schaeffler Audi 10
6. Daniel Abt 🇩🇪 Abt Schaeffler Audi 8
7. Oliver Turvey 🇬🇧 Next EV 6
8. Jean-Éric Vergne 🇫🇷 Techeetah 4
9. Nick Heidfeld 🇩🇪 Mahindra 2
10. José María López 🇦🇷 DS Virgin 1

Felix Rosenqvist- 3 points for pole
Loïc Duval – 1 point for fastest lap

 

Image: Sébastien Buemi © Formula E

Steve Boswell

Steve is a keen follower of Formula E, having taken an interest in the all-electric series since the prototype cars were first revealed. He follows the series from his adopted hometown of Sheffield, England's greenest city.

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