Formula E – Marrakesh E-Prix to set 2019 motor sport season in motion | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

Formula E – Marrakesh E-Prix to set 2019 motor sport season in motion

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09.01.19.

Third visit to the African continent for the electric street racing series

The 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship is swapping the Arabian desert for the foothills of the Atlas Mountains this weekend (12 January) as round two, the Marrakesh E-Prix sets 2019 racing in motion.

Last time out
It was a spectacular and hugely unpredictable inaugural race in Saudi Arabia in December, where, despite the desert setting, heavy rain threw all the drivers and teams a curve ball, reducing track time and piling on the pressure for the first race in the Gen2 car.

BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Antonio Felix da Costa emerged on-top despite coming under repeated attack from reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne. Indeed the DS TECHEETAH looked to be the car to beat on outright pace, with both Vergne and his team-mate Andre Lotterer setting blistering times during the race, though both were pegged back by a drive-through penalty due to a technical infringement.

Vergne managed to recover to second, while Mahindra Racing’s Jerome D’Ambrosio drove with impressive speed and consistency to cross the line third, but with many of the series’ proven contenders mixed up throughout the order, the first race of season five didn’t provide a clear insight into what might be expected this weekend.

Familiar territory
This is the third visit to the historic Moroccan city, with the track set partly on the Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan before the cars blast onto the streets. The track layout remains unchanged from previous seasons, save for the crucial addition of the attack mode activation zone which is a new feature on all tracks in season five.

The zone, which drivers must completely pass through in order to activate the higher power mode, is located on the outside of turn three. The exact number and duration of the high power modes will be announced by the FIA no later than one hour before the start of the E-Prix.

Looking back through the form book for the Marrakesh E-Prix, Nissan e.dams’ Sebastien Buemi was the first to take victory on the 2.971km track, and will be looking to become the first two-time winner here as Felix Rosenqvist won’t be returning after taking top spot last time out.

Rookies Return
For the second time in succession, Marrakesh will host an in-season rookie test on the Sunday following the race (13 January). Open to all drivers who do not hold an eLicence, this year sees an exciting mixture of up-and-coming youngsters and proven racers from other forms of motor sport.

Several drivers who tested here last year are back to try their hand at electric racing for a second season, with the value of showing your skills directly to the teams competing in Formula E evidenced by the progression of Maximilian Gunther, who tested for DRAGON last year and is now competing in his first full season for the team.

Nico Muller, who topped the time sheets in last year’s rookie test for Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, returns for the German champion squad and will likely be one to watch yet again.

Several drivers who took part in the in-season test which followed the Ad Diriyah E-Prix in December are back again, including female racers Tatiana Calderon for DS TECHEETAH and Jamie Chadwick who will drive the NIO Formula E Team car.

Click here to view the full entry list for the test.

Championship standings:

 

Drivers’ Championship

Teams’ Championship

Driver

Points

Team

Points

1

Antonio Felix da Costa

28

DS TECHEETAH

29

2

Jean-Eric Vergne

18

BMW I Andretti Motorsport

28

3

Jerome D’Ambrosio

15

Mahindra Racing

15

4

Mitch Evans

12

Nissan e.dams

14

5

Andre Lotterer

11

Panasonic Jaguar Racing

13

6

Sebastien Buemi

8

Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler Formula E Team

6

7

Oliver Rowland

6

Envision Virgin Racing

0

8

Daniel Abt

4

Venturi Formula E Team

0

9

Lucas di Grassi

2

NIO Formula E Team

0

10

Nelson Piquet Jr

1

GEOX DRAGON

0

For full standings, results and live timing, click here.