Sebastien Buemi beats Sam Bird to Marrakesh ePrix pole

Sebastien Buemi

It was (almost) a case of deja vu here in Marrakesh, as last year's pole-sitter Felix Rosenqvist and last year's victor Sebastien Buemi (Renault e.dams) switched places, with Rosenqvist taking the lead in the championship for the first time in his ABB FIA Formula E career.

Buemi held on to take second for Renault eDams, with a fading Bird only just holding on to a podium finish for DS Virgin Racing ahead of Jaguar's Nelson Piquet Jr. He was given a break when Bird slowed briefly on lap 16, one lap before the auto swaps, which allowed Mahindra's Rosenqvist to jump into second.

With just a few laps remaining - and not long after a full-course yellow was deployed - Rosenqvist made his move on Buemi at the tricky Turn 7 left-hander to take the lead. He eased clear to take a comfortable victory with Buemi second and erstwhile championship leader Bird a distant third as he struggled with a gearbox problem.

Outside of the top ten, Jean-Eric Vergne lines up in 13th place after a scruffy qualifying session while Mahindra's Nick Heidfeld only managed 18th after crashing during his final run of the session which caught out Edoardo Mortara who was slowest of the 20 runners.

Maro Engel finished seventh on the road but got slapped with the time equivalent of a drivethrough penalty post-race for causing a collision and dropped to 13th.

Techeetah's Andre Lotterer started the race at the back of the grid after being disqualified from qualifying for missing the weighbridge.

Reigning Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi did not score any points after being forced to retire with a battery management issue.

"It is a nice position to be in and it is great that I've scored good early points because it stops me playing catch-up".



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