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Finishing the unfinished: Rosenqvist wins in Marrakesh

In November of 2016, Felix Rosenqvist astonished everyone with an outstanding performance in Marrakesh, but he did not win the race. In January of 2018, Formula E’s Super Swede was able to climb to the top step of the podium.

A clean start of the race saw a tight battle between the first three drivers Buemi, Bird, and Rosenqvist.

Alex Lynn quickly dropped from 6th position to the bottom of the standings, after making contact with Abt’s Audi and spinning. Subsequently, the German was given a drive through penalty for causing a collision.

López was another driver to drop back in the standings early on, as “Pechito” got overtaken by a number of cars. Luck was not on Prost’s side at the start of the race. The Frenchman spun after making contact with Lotterer’s TECHEETAH car and could only rejoin the race in last position.

A tight battle between countrymen di Grassi and Piquet Jr., saw the latter overtaking the reigning champion, whose car stopped on track shortly after. Di Grassi was called into the pits, but once in the garage, the Brazilian got out of his car to retire from the race.

The midfield saw a number of incidents going on, as Mortara collided with Filippi, and da Costa also made contact with Mahindra Racing’s Nick Heidfeld. Drivers like the aforementioned da Costa, Heidfeld and André Lotterer were able to gain important positions, after starting towards the back of the grid.

Charging up from third position, Rosenqvist was able to overtake Sam Bird to be in P2, before the car swaps. López, who had previously dropped back, was able to gain places, and managed to be in P4 at the time of entering the garages.

Another misfortune struck Formula E rookie Lotterer, as the three-time Le Mans winner had to abandon the race, after his car stopped on track, causing the deployment of Full Course Yellow.

Buemi retained his first place after exiting the pitlane. Almost two seconds separated the Swiss driver from Rosenqvist, who was being closely chased by Bird. Mortara exited the pitlane in ninth position, a gain that gave the Swiss a major advantage to fight for points after a rather disappointing qualifying.

A 0.631 seconds gap separated race leader Buemi, from Rosenqvist. The Swede, whose Formula E breakthrough happened in this track back in 2016, showed a constant quick pace, threatening the Renault e.dams driver’s first place.

Like his teammate, Engel saw himself benefitting from the mandatory car swap; and was quickly fighting for the points scoring positions. The strong battle between Piquet Jr. and Vergne stood out as one of the race’s toughest and most constant battles.

A driver that silently made up an important number of places was Tom Blomqvist. The MS&AD Andretti driver managed to climb up to P10, in his first ever Formula E race. His teammate da Costa found himself struggling to gain places.

A clean overtake by Felix Rosenqvist cost Buemi the lead of the race. The Swede had an unfinished business with Marrakesh, after losing the race to Buemi himself in Season 3. Once again, the Mahindra Racing driver showcased his enormous skills at the wheel.

After kissing the wall, one of the Venturi cars made contact with the other car from the Monegasque squad and Nick Heidfeld, causing debris from the Mahindra car to be spread on track, and Mortara to retire.

Again in the midfield, a battle between Blomqvist, Prost, and Lynn for P9 took place, which finally finished in favour of the newcomer. A stunning debut for the former DTM driver, as he was able to collect four points on his debut as he was classified in eighth position. Da Costa could not move up from P14, where he finished as the chequered flag was waved.

Felix Rosenqvist crossed the finish line in P1, winning his third Formula E race, and securing the first place in both the Drivers’ and Teams’ Championship. The young Swede finally climbed to the top step of the podium in Morocco.

Despite losing the race with just a few laps to go, Sébastien Buemi proved once again his talent, six months after his last podium finish. Teammate Nico Prost once again suffered bad luck, but thought he had overcome that, finishing P10 on track. However he picked up a post-race penalty for exceeding the speed limit under Full Course Yellow and thus dropped out of the points.

Sam Bird keeps a lucky strike, after finishing third, and scoring important points for his championship run. Alex Lynn, on the other side of the garage, benefitted from Engel and Prost receiving post-race drive through penalties, and left Marrakesh with two points in the bag.

After a hard race, Nick Heidfeld was able to take home six points, allowing Mahindra to secure their lead in the Teams’ Championship. The smile on Team Boss Dilbagh Gill’s face was inerasable.

A similar case happened in the Jaguar garage. Nelson Piquet Jr. had a clean and good race, scoring the race’s Fastest Lap. Mitch Evans dropped back to the bottom of the standings after the car swaps, and could not manage to move up from P12.

A race to forget for both Audi and Venturi. The German marque saw di Grassi retiring from the race early on, whereas Abt did not have the luckiest of races, and picked up one single point after Engel and Prost’s penalties.

The Monegasque team left Marrakesh with no points in the bag, as Mortara retired after his collision with Engel and Heidfeld, and the German was given a drive through penalty that saw him dropping to P12.

Dragon Racing’s first points in Season 4 came after José María López’s P6 finish on his comeback to the fully-electric championship. Jérôme d’Ambrosio did not stand out during the race, after starting from the pitlane, and went on to finish in P15.

NIO did not have an easy weekend, as Turvey started the race from the pitlane, and retired on lap 17. Filippi remained at the bottom of the standings for most of the race, finishing one lap behind the rest of the drivers, in P16.

TECHEETAH’s Jean Eric Vergne had strong fights on track, finishing P5 in the race. André Lotterer, on the other hand, suffered another misfortune that led him to retiring from the race as his car stopped on track.

Formula E now crosses the pond and goes back to South America for the first ePrix to be held in the Chilean capital of Santiago, on Saturday February 3rd.

1FelixROSENQVIST33 laps
6José MariaLOPEZ16.491
14Antonio FelixDA COSTA1:01.116
16LucaFILIPPI1 lap
17EdoardoMORTARA3 laps
NCOliverTURVEY16 laps
NCAndréLOTTERER19 laps
NCLucasDI GRASSI26 laps

Andrea Perilli

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