Sebastien Buemi took his second race win of the season after starting from sixth on the grid in Marrakesh, beating Virgin’s Sam Bird and rookie Felix Rosenqvist to the line.
The second race of the 2016-2017 Formula E season got underway and it was Rosenqvist starting from pole position in the Mahindra. As the race started, he made a quick start and had an easy getaway from both Sam Bird and Nelson Piquet Jr., who were both close behind.
Lucas Di Grassi, who was on the podium in Hong Kong in the 1st race of the season, made an early pass on Frijns after starting the race way back in twelfth on the grid, on lap 5.
Only a few minutes later, on Lap 12, Da Costa had stopped on track with mechanical issues and had to get to the pits to change cars. However, by the end of the race, he ran out of battery and was unable to finish.
Jaguar, who made their Formula E debut in Hong Kong, had trouble finding pace as both drivers circulated in the back of the field. Adam Carroll finished the race in 14th while former GP2 driver, Mitch Evans, finished a little further back in 17.
Most cars pitted by lap 17 but superb battery management meant Buemi and Bird were both able to stay out an extra lap. In that lap, Buemi was able to get past Bird, and emerged from the pits third. Bird dropped down to fourth as Jean Eric Vergne moved up to fourth. Maro Engel had trouble in the pits, a mechanical issue meaning he wasn’t able to get back out after his stop.
Jean-Eric Vergne’s race for the podium didn’t last long when he learned that he had been given a Drive-Through Penalty for speeding in the pit-lane. This gave Sam Bird an advantage and it wasn’t long until the British driver was back up into the top 3.
Mitch Evans had a near mishap with one of the barriers after narrowly avoiding a collison with Piquet Jr. He had to reverse and get the car going again but was able to finish the race with no damage.
Loic Duval set the fastest lap of the race but his car stopped on the final lap. He qualified as finished in 18th.
Sebastien Buemi made a late pass on Rosenqvist and took his 2nd win in a row this season. Sam Bird finished 2nd and Rosenqvist still managed to finish on the podium. Of course, not where he would have liked to finish after starting from pole position, but another good result for Mahindra after Heidfeld’s previous 3rd place finish.
Formula E returns in February after a short winter-break. The next race will be set in Buenos Aires.
1.Sebastien Buemi / Renault e.Dams / Switzerland
2. Sam Bird / DS Virgin Racing / Great Britain
3. Felix Rosenqvist / Mahindra Racing Formula E Team / Sweden
4. Nicolas Prost / Renault e.Dams / France
5. Lucas Di Grassi / ABT-Schaeffler Audi Sport / Brazil
6. Daniel Abt / ABT-Schaeffler Audi Sport / Germany
7. Oliver Turvey / NextEV NIO / Great Britain
8. Jean-Eric Vergne / Techeetah / France
9. Nick Heidfeld / Mahindra Racing Formula E Team / Germany
10. Jose Maria Lopez / DS Virgin Racing / Argentina
11. Robin Frijns / MS Amlin Andretti / Netherlands
12. Stephane Sarrazin / Venturi Formula E Team / France
13. Jerome d’Ambrosio / Faraday Future Dragon Racing / Belgium
14. Adam Carroll / Panasonic Jaguar Racing / Great Britain
15. Ma Qing Hua / Techeetah / China
16. Nelson Piquet Jr. / NextEV NIO / Brazil
17. Mitch Evans / Panasonic Jaguar Racing / New Zealand
18. Loic Duval / Faraday Future Dragon Racing / France
RETIRED – Maro Engel / Venturi Formula E Team / Germany
RETIRED – Antonio Felix Da Costa / MS Amlin Andretti / Portugal
Words by Amy Hawk
Image Credit: FIA Formula E Media