Sebastien Buemi, the reigning Formula E champion, maintains his title defense after securing victory in the second round of the 2016-2017 Formula E championship season in Marrakesh.
In front of 7,000 people, Felix Rosenqvist in pole position nailed the start and sprinted off into the lead. The Mahindra Racing driver was in top form and soon opened up a comfortable lead. Rosenqvist led for 27 more out of the 33 laps.
Following the sequence of stops however, Buemi was starting to gain lap-by-lap, and soon after the chance to take the lead from Roseqvist presented itself. Despite having to charge his way through the pack in the early stages, not to mention a mistake during his pitstop, Buemi was able to take the lead.
Forced to save energy in the closing stages, Rosenqvist was unable to keep Sam Bird behind as well, and the Brit duly collected second place with 18 points.
Rosenqvist did manage to hold on for third, securing his first Formula E podium in his second race. Back-to-back team champions Renault e.DAMS heads the standings and its tally was helped by a solid fourth place from Nico Prost. Fifth place went to Lucas di Grassi after starting from 12th.
Di Grassi's fellow ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport team-mate Daniel Abt followed him home in sixth place for his first points of the season. Oliver Turvey took seventh for NextEV NIO, while Jean-Eric Vergne finished in 8th place.
The Techeetah driver was running ahead of Buemi and was closing in on Rosenqvist when he was given a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pitlane, which was the result of a broken pitlane speed limiter button. Despite this, he continued to run in fifth place. A complete failure of the electronics of his steering wheel however, made him drop to eighth.
Heidfeld bagged a couple of points for Mahindra in ninth, while DS Virgin Racing’s Jose Maria Lopez scored his first-ever Formula E point with 10th. The bonus point for the Visa Fastest Lap went to Loic Duval, which was some compensation for a difficult weekend blighted by technical issues in his Faraday Future Dragon Racing entry.
In the end, Buemi took the checkered flag ahead of DS Virgin Racing's Sam Bird. Sitting at third is Mahindra Racing's Felix Rosenqvist. In the driver standings, Buemi is still at the lead with 50 points while Lucas Di Grassi from ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport is at second with 28 points. At third is Renault e.Adams' Nicolas Prost who has accumulated 24 points.
As of now, the series is on its mid-season break and will return on February 18, 2017 with the Buenos Aires ePrix. Before this, however, all Formula E drivers will be participating on January 7, 2017 at CES in the Vegas eRace. This is where they will have a virtual race along a bespoke Las Vegas street track.