Renault e.dams has won the second race of season three of the FIA Formula E Championship with a robust run up the order from Sébastien Buemi from seventh on the grid in the Marrakesh ePrix. Séb had qualified second at the Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan, only to be given a five-place grid penalty due to an issue with his car’s fire extinguisher, but team strategy allied to efficient energy deployment and exemplary driving saw Séb’s eighth career Formula E win.
Nico Prost drove a strong and mature race too, translating his sixth-position on the grid to P4 at the chequered flag. Nico had earlier been drawn in the first qualifying group and was unlucky to miss out on the final Superpole shoot-out.
Renault e.dams leaves Marrakesh with 74 points in the Championship, ahead of ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport and Mahindra Racing who both have 36 points. Sébastian has 50 points in the Drivers’ Championship with his nearest rival, Lucas di Grassi, on 28. Nico Prost is in third position with 24 points.
Renault e.dams, Sébastien and Nico will next be seen in action for the third round of season three, the Buenos Aires ePrix on the Circuito de Puerto Madero in Argentina on February 18, 2017.
"My cars were amazing today and the balance was really good. In my first lap I used a bit too much energy but after that we were able to save charge so we could be strong and push when we needed later in the stint, and this really worked for us. We know we have an efficient car and we had to take advantage of that after we started further back on the grid than we wanted. I was able to extract everything I needed from the car and it shows the team is working really well, so it’s been a very positive start to the season."
"I am happy about my race but a little frustrated that I wasn’t able to qualify higher. I showed good pace in practice but Q1 is the most difficult qualifying session to deliver in, even if it was very close to Superpole. I consumed a little bit too much energy in my out-lap, which meant I had to save a little bit in my first stint of the race. Nevertheless, I was able to overtake Daniel Abt and push strongly. Certainly, I would have preferred to have finished on the podium here – and in Hong Kong – but the most important thing is scoring points."
Vincent Gaillardot, Renault Sport Project Leader:
"It was interesting to test the Z.E.16 in race conditions at a permanent circuit as it gives us further information about the performance between the teams. Qualifying showed us that it is very tight between us, DS, Mahindra and Audi too. The problem we had with the extinguisher where it must have discharged its gas is an unusual one, but fortunately we were able to fight back in the race. Today we confirmed that our package is very efficient in race conditions and both drivers were able to take advantage of this."
Jean-Paul Driot, Senior Team Manager:
"It’s very good to enter the winter with such a strong points advantage, especially with a long period before we head to Buenos Aires. Sébastien drove a very strong race to fight back from his penalty which was backed-up by a strong race from Nico too, so it was a great team effort all round. We didn’t get distracted by the early pace of some of our competitors but focused on driving our own race with our own strategy which meant the result came our way at the chequered flag."
Alain Prost, Senior Team Manager:
"That was a great day. The team is improving with every race and even if we don’t start at the front we can still win. A little bit like in Hong Kong we weren’t able to show our very best in qualifying but it does look like one lap pace is closer this season, which is good for the championship. We focused on the race in our practice session preparations and this benefitted us especially as we were able to fight back from the penalty for Sébastien. The team and both drivers delivered what we needed and two wins for Séb and two fourth positions for Nico is a strong start to our championship defence. For sure our competitors are improving all the time, but we are determined not to sit back and let them catch us!"
Marrakesh ePrix Race Results
1. Sebastien Buemi
2. San Bird
3. Felix Rosenqvist
4. Nicolas Prost
5. Lucas di Grassi
6. Daniel Abt
7. Oliver Turvey
8. Jean-Éric Vergne
9. Nick Heidfeld
10. José-María Lopez
Team Championship standings
1. Renault e.dams - 74
2. ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport - 36
3. Mahindra Racing - 36
4. Andretti Formula E - 19
5. DS Virgin Racing - 18
6. NEXTEV NIO - 13
7. Faraday Future Dragon Racing - 7
8. TECHEETAH - 4
9. Venturi Formula E Team - 3
10. Panasonic Jaguar Racing - 0
Driver Championship standings
1. Sebastien Buemi - 50
2. Lucas di Grassi - 28
3. Nicolas Prost - 24
4. Felix Rosenqvist - 19
5. Sam Bird - 18
6. Nick Heidfeld - 17
7. Antonio Felix da Costa - 10
8. Oliver Turvey - 10
9. Robin Frijns - 8
10. Daniel Abt - 8