The 2019 Marrakesh ePrix was a race that thrilled us throughout its entirety, and after the two BMW I-Andretti Motorsport drivers of Alexander Sims and Antonio Felix Da Costa came to blows mid-way through the race means that DS Techeetah leave with an extended margin in the teams championship.
However, the race itself wasn’t the best result from the Chinese-based team, with their race-winning pace once again went undelivered.
Defending series champion Jean-Eric Vergne attempted a crazy lunge on Envision Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird for the lead at the first corner of the race, which saw the Frenchman spin and fall down to the back of the pack. Vergne was able to battle through and ended an attrition-filled race in fifth position. After the race, the all-smiles Frenchman said:
“Today wasn’t at all what it was set out to be. We’re racing drivers in the end of the day and we go for the gap, so when I saw it I went for it, but quickly realised that I couldn’t make it so I had to spin the car so that I didn’t crash into Sam as I didn’t want to ruin his race.
“Today was my fault, but if this is the biggest mistake I’ve done in Formula E so far and I still got P5, there’s still a lot to be happy about. In the end, I overtook 15 cars gaining 16 seconds on the leaders and I was only four seconds behind the them in the last couple of laps which shows the incredible pace of our package.”
His team-mate Andre Lotterer meanwhile had a difficult qualifying and only started the race in twentieth position. Lotterer fought his way through the order throughout the race, in particular utilizing his Attack Mode on the final lap to pass Lucas Di Grassi to grab an impressive sixth position and after the race said:
“Qualifying in the back isn’t the start you want but we had fun fighting our way through the grid to finish P6 in the end. I made a small mistake in the qualifying session which led to the start from the back but it’s good to be in the Top 5 in the championship and to remain the championship leaders.
“As we head to the South American races rest assured, we will continue to fight to stay there. We had a good race in Santiago last year when we scored the first 1-2 in Formula E history, but it’s a new track this year so let’s see if we can do it all again at the new location.”
But despite the difficulties the DS Techeetah drivers had during the race, with the two BMW I-Andretti Motorsport cars crashing into each other and only scored 12 points means Techeetah have extended their championship lead, with Mahindra Racing their closest challengers heading to Santiago in two weeks time courtesy of Jerome D’ Ambrosio’s surprise race victory at Marrakesh.
Santiago will provide the ideal opportunity of redemption for the DS Techeetah outfit, with this being the city where they scored their first 1-2 finish last year and will be hoping to repeat that result this season.