Renault e.dams’ Sebastien Buemi asserted his dominance once again after securing another victory, this time at the Marrakesh ePrix. The French driver was dealt a blow as before the start he was given a five-place grid penalty due to not having a functional fire extinguisher in his car. The grid drop ended up not affecting Buemi’s race as he fought his way through the field into second place, then cruised past pole sitter Rosenqvist with six laps of the race remaining. From there he drove well to take the win. the whole field had to crawl over the finishing line as everyone struggled with energy usage around the circuit. Buemi has now won eight of his twenty-four races in the championship.
DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird came second, post-race he described Buemi as ‘uncatchable’. Despite dropping to the last podium place Rosenqvist got a fantastic start and held on to a commanding lead for most of the race in his Mahindra Racing entry. His battery wore out towards the end and he struggled, his team then told him not to put up too much of a fight as Buemi and Bird passed by. Nico Prost just missed out on a podium finish in fourth place. After a great drive through the field Lucas di Grassi took a fifth-place finish. There were some great moves made, including one on his teammate Daniel Abt. This made up for his disappointment in qualifying where he only managed to get twelfth.
NextEV TCR’s Oliver Turvey finished the race in seventh. Due to a problem during the pit stops it saw Nelson Piquet Jr’s strong qualifying wasted as he dropped from fifth to sixteenth. Jean-Eric Vergne suffered a hugely frustrating race, his Techeetah showed impressive pace but they were left to rue from costly mistakes during the race. he missed out on a chance to take pole position after the team sent him out too late and then a drive through penalty whilst chasing down Rosenqvist for the lead of the race saw him drop to fifth. He then went on to drop further down the order to finish in eighth after not managing his energy usage as well as other drivers were. He just managed to beat Nick Heidfield and Jose Maria Lopez who finished in ninth and tenth.
It was a disappointing race for the Panasonic Jaguar Racing team, the car lacked the pace it needed during the day. On the last lap of the race Mitch Evans missed his braking point and went into barriers. Loic Duval had a horrible time in his FF Dragon Racing but despite many technical issues managed to get a few clear laps to set the fastest lap and take the point that comes with it. There were two non-finishers during the race, these being Venturi’s Maro Engel and Andretti’s Antonio Felix da Costa.
The championship now has a three-month break before the Buenos Aires ePrix, in the meantime everyone will be wondering if there is a way they can catch the rapid Sebastien Buemi.
©Fay Tilley 13th November.