Rosenqvist snatches Marrakesh win from Buemi

January 13, 2018

Rosenqvist snatches Marrakesh win from Buemi

January 13, 2018

Felix Rosenqvist reversed the script at the Marrakesh E-Prix in Saturday’s third round of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship season compared to this race a year ago, taking his second straight win in season four.

The Swede, driving for Mahindra, dominated last year from pole position but fell down to third place at the finish behind Renault e.dams’ Sebastien Buemi and DS Virgin’s Sam Bird.

This year it was Buemi who took the pole position and controlled the majority of the 33-lap race, but didn’t have enough to hold off a charging Rosenqvist in the final few laps of the race.

Rosenqvist moved to Buemi’s inside at the left-handed Turn 7, as Buemi left just enough room for him to dart through and take the lead on Lap 29. Buemi, who had won the Fan Boost for the race, said after the race he had an issue activating it.

Rosenqvist held him off towards the finish to score the victory, and his first on the road this season. Rosenqvist inherited the win at Round 2 in Hong Kong following Daniel Abt’s disqualification for mismatched bar codes.

“Last year was where we learned how to win. Today, we showed it. I felt quicker than Seb, knew I had something in my pocket. There was a small gap, and I went for it. Amazing!” Rosenqvist said.

“What a day. Having had one of the most difficult practices of my Formula E career, to almost grabbing pole, and then having a battery change just before the race – just half an hour before. I jumped in and the car was perfect!

Bird, who was second this race last year, came third today behind Rosenqvist and Buemi.

This vaults Rosenqvist to the lead of Formula E championship standings for the first time in his career. He’s four points up on Bird, 54-50, with Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne third at 43 points. Vergne qualified only 10th, but advanced to fifth at the end of today’s race, one spot behind Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Nelson Piquet Jr.

Jose Maria Lopez was sixth for Dragon and Tom Blomqvist eighth for MS&AD Andretti in their season debuts, both scoring points, while Nick Heidfeld (Mahindra) ended seventh from 18th and Alex Lynn (DS Virgin) and Daniel Abt (Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler) rounded out the points.

Abt received a drive-through penalty for contacting Lynn at Turn 1 early in the race, but both drivers recovered to claim top-10 results. Both Maro Engel (Venturi) and Nico Prost (Renault e.dams) received 20-second time penalties that dropped them from the points.

The series’ next round is at Santiago, Chile on February 3, a new event.

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