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24 Jul 20
To get you back up to speed ahead of the nine-day six-race showdown in Berlin, starting August 5, we're re-running all five rounds of the 2019/20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship to-date. From last time out: six talking points from Round 5 - Circuit Moulay El Hassan, Marrakesh.
A year ago, Antonio Felix da Costa's race in Marrakesh ended in the worst way possible, out of the lead and into the wall following a collision with then BMW i Andretti Motorsport teammate, Alexander Sims.
Now with DS Teheetah, it was a story of redemption for the Portuguese driver, converting his Julius Baer Pole Position into victory and taking the lead in the championship standings for added measure.
After falling ill, Jean-Eric Vergne was absent from his number 25 DS Techeetah in the opening practice session, with James Rossiter stepping up to cover the Frenchman's place.
Through sheer determination, the two-time champion climbed into the cockpit for practice two and dragged himself up to speed and into contention with an eventual 11th place on the grid in qualifying from a standing start.
From there, JEV produced one of his best drives in Formula E to-date, the reigning champion sliced his way through the pack in the early throes up as high as seventh spot with his eye on the top six.
TAG Heuer Porsche's Andre Lotterer was dispatched as he clambered into the top four and set about an unlikely podium. He managed to make his way beyond BMW i Andretti Motorsport's Maximilian Guenther to briefly run one-two with DS team-mate Costa out front, though the German was able to pinch the position back at the last. Third, though, was mightily impressive.
That move by the BMW i Andretti Motorsport man built on the solid reputational foundations that Max Guenther had laid down over the opening four rounds of the season.
His stock is on the up and up, and with the young German pulling off such a calculated manoeuvre on the more experienced, reigning Formula E champion with the pressure on and the lap counter ticking down, Guenther showed exactly what he's all about this season.
Following a dominant victory in Mexico City, Mitch Evans (Panasonic Jaguar Racing) came into Round 5 at the head of the championship standings, however, Marrakesh would prove to be a test for the Kiwi driver.
In qualifying, Evans and the Jaguar squad mistimed his release to set a hot lap. Coming up short and crossing the start line just as the lights went red left a visibly frustrated Evans at the back of the grid.
With a mammoth task ahead of him, Evans came through the field and picked up through a sweeping number of positions to cross the finish line in sixth and adding to his damage limitation, he scored the fastest lap bonus point for added measure.
Exuding confidence following his comeback performance, Evans said post-race: "My message to everyone is that even though these things happen we can fight back and score some good points."
Mercedes-Benz EQ's rookie driver, Nyck de Vries has put in some strong drives in the 2019/20 season, but the young Dutchman hasn't yet stepped on the podium in his debut campaign in Formula E.
The reigning Formula 2 Champion was looking strong in Marrakesh, and having made it to Super Pole for the third time this season, he qualified for the race in fourth with sights on the hallowed steps.
On the opening lap, he immediately slotted into third position, but unfortunately for the Mercedes driver, he was given a drive-through penalty for overpowering on regen. After serving his punishment he fought his way back through the field, finishing just outside the points with 11th.
"Of course, it is frustrating," said de Vries after the race. "I wouldn't say I'm impatient. Santiago was a podium and I think it is safe to say that (Marrakesh) was a clear podium."
"If you look at our pace and take out the drive-through (penalty) it was an easy second-place finish or at least the podium, but for sure no less than that."
The Circuit Moulay El Hassan always provides top quality racing, watch below as Saunders Carmichael-Brown wraps up all the madness in Morocco.
18 Sep 20
17 Sep 20
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