ABB Formula E – Marrakesh ePrix – Race
Marhabaan MiniE fans!
The temporary street track Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan hosted the second round of the 2018/19 FIA ABB Formula E championship; the only race of the season in Africa.
British driver Sam Bird would start on pole position ahead of reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne. A three place grid penalty for a technical infringement during qualifying would drop Antonio Felix da Costa down to 6th. Ahead of him were Sebastian Buemi in 3rd, Alexander Sims in 4th and Mitch Evans in 5th.
As they got underway, Jean Eric-Vergne attempted an audacious, and borderline stupid move on Sam Bird into turn one. The two cars connected and Jean-Eric was sent spinning into the pack, causing absolute bedlam. In the chaos, Lucas di Grassi would run into the back of Pascal Wehrlein, causing the debutant to retire for Mahindra Racing.
Once the order settled down, Bird maintained the lead ahead of Sims, da Costa, Robin Frijns and Jerome d’Ambrosio. da Costa would quickly get past his team mate to move into second place though.
The racing at this point was superb. The top six were nose-to-tail, being held up by the struggling Sam Bird. Eventually, all drivers in the battle would get past Sam Bird with the two BMW drivers pulling away from the pack – and looking like safe bets for a 1-2 finish. Meanwhile, Jerome d’Ambrosio and Lucas di Grassi were having a non-stop battle with the two Envision Virgin Racing cars.
At the front, Sims was stuck to the back of da Costa’s gearbox like glue. Sims saw an opportunity to make a move, dove to the outside, both drivers locked up, both drivers touched, and da Costa went straight into the wall with Sims running well wide and losing a host of positions. The winner from the last race, Antonio Felix da Costa, was out whereas Sims had dropped down to 4th place. BMW had thrown it away – in what can only be described as a racing incident.
That incident gifted the win to Jerome d’Ambrosio for Mahindra Racing, and gifted podiums to Robin Frijns and Sam Bird.
Let’s not forget that Jerome d’Ambrosio started down in 10th place today; what a brilliant drive. He now takes a commanding 12 point lead in the drivers’ championship and Mahindra Racing have won the Marrakesh ePrix for the second time in two seasons.
The race was so chaotic today that I haven’t even had a chance to mention Gary Paffett’s dramatic puncture, the great battles further down the field, or the revelation that is attack mode.
We’re now two races in – how do you see this title battle playing out? Who do you think will be the 2018/19 champion? Let us know in the comments below.