Following the successful debut of the Gen2 Formula E car in Ad Diriyah the circus heads to Marrakesh a track where Felix Rosenqvist had previously starred but will mark his first race away from the sport since he joined the series.
The track features 3 long straights which pose as the circuits best overtaking opportunities, turn one poses as a challenge for drivers and has been the scene of some incidents; namely Alex Lynn and Daniel Abt’s collision last season. It is not the easiest circuit for overtaking with many fast and tight corners but we have seen some in the past along with some close racing. Nelson Piquet and Lucas DiGrassi had another close tussle like in Ad Diriyah and we saw an on track pass for the lead courtesy of Rosenqvist passing Buemi.
Bird is the word (so is Buemi and Rosenqvist):
In the two years that Formula E has been racing in Marrakesh we have had the same 3 drivers finish on the podium in both races. Felix Rosenqvist stunned the Formula E paddock when he took pole position on his second ever race weekend, he wouldn’t be able to convert it into a win as Sebastien Buemi would pass him for the win but the Swede would reverse this in Season 4. Sam Bird has also had a strong run with 2 super pole appearances and 2 podiums. With Rosenqvist out of Formula E we will now see at at least 1 driver take their first Marrakesh podium.
Are Techeetah the favourites?
One of the biggest takeaways in Ad Diriyah was the pace of the DS Techeetahs, despite drive through penalties both Jean-Eric Vergne and Andre Lotterer finished 2nd and 5th respectively. Marrakesh should prove as a good litmus test for how strong the DS Techeetah package is, will we see a Techeetah 1-2? Can Vergne take his first Marrakesh win? or will someone else challenge them?
Can Audi and Virgin bounce back?
Perhaps the biggest disappoint in Ad Diriyah was the performance of the factory Audi’s and their customers Virgin, post qualifying penalties saw 3 of the 4 cars start at the back and many expected them to scythe their way through the pack but this wasn’t the case. Both Audis finished 9th and 10th but both Virgin cars failed to score points, many predict that this will be a one-off and it will need to be if any one of the 4 drivers want to string together a championship challenge with all of which having the talent to do so.
Who to watch out for:
Pascal Wehrlein will make his Formula E debut, the German competed in Formula One for 2 season and impressed with some hard fought points finishes. Mahindra are a strong team and I would full expect to see Wehrlein conformably in the points.
Jerome D’Ambrosio will also be competitive in the Mahindra after claiming a podium on debut with the team. Jerome is perhaps one of the more underrated drivers in the paddock and it’s no surprise as to how he has already won races in Formula E, expect Jerome to fight for the podium once again.
Techeetah as already mentioned look mighty and should confirm that this weekend, if they don’t win the race expect at least one of their cars on the podium.
Felipe Massa had an impressive debut in Ad Diriyah even though it didn’t translate into points, the Venturi powertrain didn’t mark itself as the strongest in Ad Diriyah but a good points haul should be more than possible.
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