How Mahindra won the 2019 Marrakesh ePrix

by Graham Keilloh on 14th January 2019

D’Ambrosio ended his Formula E win drought, but only after the BMW team-mates broke motor racing’s number one rule…

2019 Marrakesh ePrix start

Images: Lou Johnson / Spacesuit Media

Jérôme d’Ambrosio took his first Formula E win since 2015-16 in Marrakesh for Mahindra Racing last weekend, after the leading BMW pair António Félix da Costa and Alexander Sims collided.

The duo appeared to be cruising to a one-two result, with da Costa set to make it two wins from two in BMW’s debut FE campaign as a manufacturer. But with just under 10 minutes of the 45-minute race to go Sims sought to pass his team-mate on the outside and the pair locked up and collided. It left da Costa out with his car in the barriers, while Sims continued in fourth place after running wide.

And it was d’Ambrosio, who had worked his way up to third place by half distance in an aggressive drive, who inherited the lead. He then just held on to win after a frantic late sprint following a safety car period, holding off an attacking Robin Frijns of Envision Virgin Racing who took the runner-up slot just 0.143 seconds shy. The result also means that d'Ambrosio takes the lead in the championship, 12 points clear of da Costa and reigning champion Jean-Éric Vergne.

The race was bookended by drama as Vergne, who started second, spun at the first turn after out-braking himself. Pole had been taken by Frijns' team-mate Sam Bird despite diffuser damage sustained in a strange pitlane incident in qualifying when NIO's Tom Dillmann drove into the rear of Frijns due to a suspected brake problem, nudging Frijns into Bird. Bird fell down the order in the race but came home third. Vergne recovered to finish fifth.

View a high-resolution gallery of the race from Lou Johnson and Spacesuit Media below

 

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