Da Costa takes dominant victory in Marrakesh

by Scott Douglas

Antonio Felix da Costa took an impressive victory in the Marrakesh ePrix as he won by over eleven seconds from Maximilian Günther.

The Portuguese driver got a great start from pole position and only relinquished first place for a brief period in the middle of the race, where he seemed to prefer to save energy in the slipstream of BMW i Andretti Motorsport car.

But after taking his second energy boost before the Günther, Da Costa cruised by him and didn’t look back as he took victory by the third largest margin in Formula E history.

He was helped by Günther and his team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne fighting tooth and nail over the final few laps.

Vergne drove brilliantly through the field from eleventh to second place, but used more energy than Günther in doing so, leading to some desperate blocks in the closing laps as he attempted to keep him behind.

Günther’s engineer kept assuring him that Vergne would run out of energy, but that prophecy only came true on the final lap as he scraped by the reigning champion.

Regardless Vergne should be happy to take his first podium of the season on a weekend where he had missed a practice session due to feeling unwell.

Just behind Vergne was Sebastien Buemi who closed on the pair in front of him as they scrapped in the closing laps, and he was followed by Edorado Mortara in the ROKiT Venturi Racing.

And after a remarkable drive it was the Panasonic Jaguar Racing car of Mitch Evans that finished in sixth, despite the New Zealander starting at the very back of the grid after not setting a full power time in qualifying.

Evans led the driver’s standings going into the race, but suffered a huge set back after his team sent him out too late to set a full power lap in qualifying.

But despite not making much progress early on he then scythed through the field in the closing laps and took the fastest lap along the way for an extra point.

Evans was helped on his way as Alexander Sims retired on the last lap when running well in the points, and fellow championship contender Stoffel Vandoorne also failed to score points as he finished well down in fifteenth.

It was another disappointing day in general for Mercedes-Benz EQ as Nyck de Vries finished down in eleventh after receiving a drive-through penalty for harvesting too much energy.

With Toto Wolff looking on they’ll be looking to get back on track after also failing to score last time out in Mexico City.

Position#DriverTeam
113António Félix da CostaDS Techeetah
228Maximilian GüntherBMW i Andretti Motorsport
325Jean-Éric VergneDS Techeetah
423Sébastien BuemiNissan e.dams
548Edoardo MortaraVenturi Formula E Team
620Mitch EvansPanasonic Jaguar Racing
711Lucas di GrassiAudi Sport Abt Schaeffler Formula E Team
836 André LottererPorsche Formula E Team
922Oliver RowlandNissan e.dams
102 Sam BirdEnvision Virgin Racing
1117Nyck de VriesMercedes EQ Formula E Team
124 Robin FrijnsEnvision Virgin Racing
1364Jérôme d'AmbrosioMahindra Racing
1466Daniel AbtAudi Sport Abt Schaeffler Formula E Team
155Stoffel VandoorneMercedes EQ Formula E Team
1651James CaladoPanasonic Jaguar Racing
1719 Felipe MassaVenturi Formula E Team
1891 Neel JaniPorsche Formula E Team
196Brendon HartleyGEOX Dragon
207Nico MüllerGEOX Dragon
213Oliver TurveyNIO 333 FE Team
2294Pascal WehrleinMahindra Racing
2333Ma QinghuaNIO 333 FE Team
DNF27Alexander SimsBMW i Andretti Motorsport

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