Mahindra’s Felix Rosenqvist beat Sebastien Buemi on track to take victory in Marrakesh in the third race of the Formula E season.
Rosenqvist started third behind pole-sitter Buemi and DS Virgin’s Sam Bird, but was able to make a textbook pass on Buemi going into Turn 7 in the final five laps of the race.
The Swedish driver was able to get around Bird in the first stint, but both drivers lost some time in the pits to season two drivers’ champion Buemi. Second place for Buemi will be a relief after he picked up just one point from the Hong Kong double-header in December.
His rival for the last few years and defending FE drivers’ champion Lucas di Grassi wasn’t able to find the luck he needed to give his campaign a needed boost. After not scoring any points in Hong Kong, the Brazilian retired from the race during the first stint after problems with his car put him a lap down to the leaders.
Many drivers that started further back on the grid for the race were able to take advantages of incidents on track to salvage a good performance. Jean-Eric Vergne was able to finish in fifth behind Nelson Piquet Jr after qualifying 13th on the grid.
Vergne wasn’t as prolific on track compared to others, but was able to make his way up the order through retirements and other incidents on track.
The first involved Daniel Abt hitting Alex Lynn going into the first turn on the second lap of the 33 lap race. Lynn dropped down to 19th by the time he got going again, while later in the race Abt was given a drive-through penalty. Neither Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler drivers scored points in Marrakesh.
Oliver Turvey, who started from the pit lane after an issue came up with his car before the race, was able to make his way into the points during the first stint. The Brit however didn’t return to the track after his pit-stop.
In his first race back in FE after being dropped by DS Virgin before the start of the season, Jose Maria Lopez was able to take home sixth. While the Dragon Racing driver qualified fourth it was a much better result than what the team had in Hong Kong.
His team-mate Andre Lotterer didn’t have a positive performance however. Lotterer was running in the bottom half of the grid before he went off the track and couldn’t get the car started again. The incident brought out the full course yellow while the likes of Mitch Evans, Antonio Felix da Costa and Daniel Abt were still in the pits. Evans was running in the points before pitting but had to settle for 13th.
Maro Engel finished ahead of Nick Heidfeld for seventh, while Tom Blomqvist in his first FE race for the Andretti team was able to score points in ninth.
Buemi’s team-mate Nico Prost rounded off the top ten, while Lynn and Abt, who were involved in the second lap incident, were 11th and 12th respectively.