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Rosenqvist steals victory in Marrakesh

Felix Rosenqvist has won a sensational Marrakesh E-Prix after taking the lead from race leader Sebastian Buemi in the closing stages, having shadowed the former champion following the pit stops.

Rosenqvist started third on the grid and made his way through the lead on lap 28 after passing Buemi, who was leading for most of the race at the Circuit Moulay el Hassan. The Swede’s win puts himself in the lead of the championship standings after two victories from three rounds.

The Swede initially had problems with his Mahindra M4Electro which wasn’t ready to race 15 minutes prior to the race start, but that obviously didn’t daunt Rosenqvist who managed to fight this way through, taking advantage to snatch the lead when he saw a gap open from Buemi.

Buemi led for most of the 33 laps of the race faced significant pressure from his opponents throughout the entire time when he was leading the pack, especially with DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird who started second on the grid.

Rosenqvist managed to overtake Bird for second position after the Brit faced some issues with his car, causing him to suddenly slow down placing him in third position.

Meanwhile, Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Nelson Piquet Jr managed to put on a stellar drive coming home in fourth place and even managed to set the fastest lap time. The Brazilian had a close battle with Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne who finished a strong fifth after fighting his way up the field from starting in P13.

In his return to ABB Formula E and his debut race at Dragon Racing, Jose Maria Lopez managed to score the American team a points finish in sixth place, giving Dragon Racing a solid improvement after a rather weak performance in Hong Kong.

While the two Venturis faced a few issues on track Maro Engel managed to cross the line in a points finish for the Monegasque team while Edoardo Mortara ran into some trouble after a running into his teammate and Mahindra’s Nick Heidfeld with just two laps left into the race, facing damage to his Venturi and forcing him to retire.

Following the race, Engel was handed a drive through penalty converted into a time penalty for causing a collision and subsequently dropped out of the points.

It proved to be yet another frustrating race for season three champion Lucas di Grassi who qualified fifth on the grid but was faced even further reliability issues and fell back through the field until finally he stopped on track causing a yellow flag incident. The Brazilian had earlier had to have a change of parts on one of his cars before the race and he was forced to retire.

New kid on the scene Tom Blomqvist offered a consistent performance on his ABB Formula E debut and managed to finish ninth place while Renault e.dams’ Nico Prost was unable to match his team-mate’s pace and had a minor problem after spinning with Techeetah’s Andre Lotterer, causing him to lose positions during the first half of the race. The Frenchman however managed to recover to make it into the points.

Lotterer faced a similar frustrating race after having to start from the back of the grid due to being disqualified from qualifying. The German was slowly recovering his way up the pack but locked up and stopped on track on lap 16 and caused a full course yellow flag incident, which forced all the cars to pit for the car swap.

NIO’s Oliver Turvey’s race started off from the pit lane but the Brit recovered well and moved up the field, unfortunately problems with the car forced him to retire after the pit stop.

Alex Lynn spun his DS Virgin at turn one on lap two after making contact with Daniel Abt but managed to continue his race even though the incident caused him to fall back on the field and finished just outside of the points while Abt had to serve a drive through penalty due to the clash and lost time due to the full course yellow flag incident.

The result puts Rosenqvist into the lead of the championship ahead of Bird, while Vergne hangs on to third. Second place moved Buemi from 17th to 6th in the standings. Mahindra Racing maintain the lead of the team’s championship ahead of DS Virgin Racing and Techeetah.

The ABB Formula E Championship will be heading to Santiago de Chile on the 3rd of February for the fourth round of the season.

About Noor Amylia Hilda
Noor Amylia Hilda is a journalist based in Kuala Lumpur with bylines in titles such as Women's Health, Esquire and ELLE. She is also a freelance motorsport journalist covering the FIA Formula E championship and Formula 1.