Buemi makes it two from two with Marrakesh win


2016/2017 FIA Formula E Championship. Marrakesh ePrix, Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan, Marrakesh, Morocco. Saturday 12 November 2016. Photo: Sam Bloxham/LAT/Formula E ref: Digital Image _SBB7622

Sebastien Buemi proved once again why he is the man to beat after securing another dominant victory at the Marrakesh ePrix.

The Frenchman was dealt a blow before the start when he was given a five place grid penalty for not having a functional fire extinguisher in his Renault e.dams,

But it ended up being of no consequence as he fought his way through the field to second place, and then cruised past pole-sitter Felix Rosenqvist with six laps left.

From there he cruised to the finish, although like the rest of the field he crawled over the finish line as everyone struggled with energy usage.

He has now won eight of his twenty-four races in the series, and his pace today led to second placed driver Sam Bird to describe him as ‘uncatchable’.

Speaking after the race Buemi said, “Today we had an amazing car. The five place grid penalty was hard but in the second stint when I had a different strategy to Felix I could really close the gap.”

Despite losing out on the win it was impressive drive from rookie Rosenqvist. He got a fantastic start in his Mahindra Racing and held a commanding lead for most of the race.

As his battery depleted towards the end he struggled though, and was eventually told by his team to not put up too much of a fight as Buemi and Bird got by.

“The first stint was pretty good,” Rosenqvist said after the race. “We had a different strategy to Sebastien and Sam so they were quicker at the end.

“It was really hard to match their pace, and at the end the team told me on the radio they were closing really quickly. So I think there was not much we could do.

“I’m really happy with the job we did. I couldn’t have really expected more starting from P1 even so a podium was more than I could expect.”

Nico Prost just missed out on a podium place in fourth, and a great drive through the field saw Lucas di Grassi claim an unlikely fifth place.

Some great moves, including latterly on his team-mate Daniel Abt saw him make up for his disappointing qualifying where he only managed twelvth.

Oliver Turvey finished in seventh for NextEV TCR, and a problem in the pit stops meant that Nelson Piquet Jr once again squandered a strong qualifying position as he dropped from fifth to sixteenth.

Behind Turvey was Jean-Eric Vergne who suffered another hugely frustrating race. His Techeetah has shown impressive pace, but once again they were left to rue costly mistakes.

He missed out on a chance at pole after the team sent him out too late, and a drive through penalty while chasing down Rosenqvist for the lead saw him drop to fifth.

He then dropped further down after struggling with his energy usage, just beating Nick Heidfeld and Jose Maria Lopez who rounded off the points.

Elsewhere it was disappointing race from Panasonic Jaguar Racing. The car lacked pace throughout the day, and on the last lap Mitch Evans missed his braking point and went into the barriers.

Loic Duval also had a torrid time in his FF Dragon Racing, but despite several technical issues managed to get a few clean laps and he was able to set the fastest lap and get the point that comes with it.

The series now has three month break before the Buenos Aires ePrix, and in the meantime everyone will be wondering if there is any way they can catch Sebastien Buemi.

POSDRIVERNATTEAM
1Sebastien BuemiSUIRenault e.dams
2Sam BirdGBRDS Virgin Racing
3Felix RosenqvistSWEMahindra Racing
4Nico ProstFRARenault e.dams
5Lucas di GrassiBRAAbt Schaeffler Audi
6Daniel AbtGERAbt Schaeffler Audi
7Oliver TurveyGBRNextEV TCR
8Jean-Eric VergneFRATecheetah
9Nick HeidfeldGERMahindra Racing
10Jose Maria LopezARGDS Virgin Racing
11Robin FrijnsNEDAndretti
12Stephane SarrazinFRAVenturi
13Jerome d'AmbrosioBELFF Dragon Racing
14Adam CarrollGBRPanasonic Jaguar Racing
15Ma Qing HuaCHNTecheetah
16Nelson Piquet JrBRANextEV TCR
17Mitch EvansNZLPanasonic Jaguar Racing
18Loic DuvalFRAFF Dragon Racing
DNFMaro EngelGERVenturi
DNFAntonio Felix da CostaPORAndretti