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Marrakesh E-Prix Facts and Figures

As Formula E returned to Africa for the second round of Season 4, the Marrakesh ePrix, we saw new drivers and exciting and close racing. We now take a look at the facts and figures behind the days racing in Marrakesh.

Race facts

  • With Marrakesh being the first proper comparison of the Season 3 and Season 4 cars, we saw that Daniel Abt, in Practice 2, was able to usurp the fastest time of the weekend last season by over eight tenths, set by Renault e.dams driver Sebastien Buemi (1:19.760 compared to 1:20.599).
  • With Felix Rosenqvist, Sebastien Buemi and Sam Bird standing a top the podium again, Marrakesh became the first city where it’s first two races had the same top 3 (albeit in a different order to last season).
  • Marrakesh also became to first to host the ABB Formula E Championship without having a Safety Car in it’s first two races.
  • Between the 20 drivers, 1409 laps were competed over the race day, totalling 4186.1 kilometres, almost as far from Marrakesh to Paris and back (4206.8 kilometres).
  • As a result of claiming his first podium since Berlin, in June of last year, and the 21 points he got, Buemi has now moved back to the top of the standings for all highest points scorers (eclipsing Lucas di Grassi 477 to 467). Who will be the first driver to reach 500 points?
  • Nico Prost’s late penalty after the race for not abiding to the VSC speed limit, meant the Frenchmen finished 13th, so now he has finished in every position from 1st to 14th in Formula E, making him the only driver to do so.
  • Reigning Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi, currently has 0 points and is more than two race wins behind championship leader Felix Rosenqvist. Before this season, the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler drivers has previously never gone two races in a row without points, he has now gone three races without scoring.

Opening lap - Position changes

Nick Heidfeld managed to gain the most position on Lap 1, navigated a handful of car and avoiding any issues at the tight Turn 4 chicane. This ability to gain positions on Lap 1 has given the German driver a reputation, as he has now gained places in a record 20 out of the 35 opening laps he has participated in.

Briton Oliver Turvey ended up losing the most places on lap one after starting in the pit line due to an issue with his intended first car leading him to start the ePrix in is second car, an issue the NIO team could not fix leading to his later retirement after his first stint.

Overall Position changes

Not content with just gaining positions on Lap 1, Mahindra driver Nick Heidfeld also gained another six positions throughout the rest out the race, enabling him to pick up six points for his seventh place finish, and help his team take the lead in the Teams Championship.

Retirees Lucas di Grassi and Oliver Turvey both lost the most positions due to their respective car issue. Turvey’s NIO teammate Luca Filippi also lost several positions, due to damage from first lap contact and the unlucky timing of the Virtual Safety Car.

Fastest laps

Nelson Piquet (1:22.832 - Lap 32)

Daniel Abt (1:22.902 - Lap 15)

Jerome d'Ambrosio (1:22.963 - Lap 12)

Antonio Felix da Costa (1:23.018 - Lap 19)

Edoardo Mortara (1:23.147 - Lap 24)

Jean-Eric Vergne (1:23.248 - Lap 31)

Mitch Evans (1:23.308 - Lap 19)

Felix Rosenqvist (1:23.393 - Lap 21)

Sebastien Buemi (1:23.471 - Lap 21)

Nicolas Prost (1:23.494 - Lap 26)

Jose Maria Lopez (1:23.570 - Lap 32)

Maro Engel (1:23.631 - Lap 26)

Sam Bird (1:23.634 - Lap 26)

Nick Heidfeld (1:23.710 - Lap 28)

Tom Blomqvist (1:23.811 - Lap 24)

Luca Filippi (1:23.821 - Lap 21)

Alex Lynn (1:23.938 - Lap 26)

Oliver Turvey (1:24.194 - Lap 5)

Lucas di Grassi (1:24.220 - Lap 4)

Andre Lotterer (1:24.514 - Lap 7)

Panasonic Jaguar Racing driver Nelson Piquet manged to record the fastest lap on the penultimate lap of the race taking it from 10th place finisher Daniel Abt. This gained the Brazilian an additional point, which could be vital as the season unfolds.

Only 1.682 seconds covered the whole grid, which is fractionally less than the gap in Hong Kong (1.727 seconds) on a track which was almost 20 seconds longer, showing the improvement that Dragon (the backmarker team in Hong Kong) have made over the Christmas break, which was backed up with a Super Pole appearance and sixth place finish by Jose Maria Lopez.

Unsurprisingly, out of the 17 drivers who used both cars 15 drivers set their fastest lap in their second car, when the tracked has rubbered up and when most drivers where doing the shorter stint, so less energy saving was required.

About Tom Bryan
Tom is a data analyst, who runs the @FormulaEStats twitter page, which gives a variety of facts and stats about the ABB Formula E Championship.