Antonio Felix da Costa secured his first victory for his new team DS Techeetah in today’s Marrakesh E-Prix in front of BMW driver Maximilian Guenther and his teammate Jean Eric Vergne.
With a masterful lap in the superpole session, Antonio Felix da Costa started the Marrakesh E-Prix from the pole position in front of Maximilian Guenther. When the lights went out, the Portuguese reacted perfectly while the German had to defend his position from Andre Lotterer. The Porsche driver was unable to overtake the 22-year-old BMW driver and lost a position to Nick de Vries.
At the back of the field, Felipe Massa showed an impressive fighting spirit with the Brazilian gaining four positions in the opening lap. Uncharacteristically, the first minutes of the E-Prix saw no major drama except a couple of position changes in the midfield.
Despite to the promising start to the race, Nick de Vries has been given a drive-through penalty for a technical infringement. After serving his penalty, the Dutchman rejoined the field in 23th.
After feeling ill during the week and missing the first practice session on Friday, Jean-Eric Vergne started an incredible fightback on lap 11. Starting from 11th, the Frenchman quickly moved up the order.
Just as de Vries, Oliver Turvey and Nico Muller have also been given a drive-through penalty for a technical infringement.
Although the race kicked off in an unusually relaxed fashion, the excitement has increased when drivers started to activate their attack modes. With Formula E’s unique feature forcing drivers to go off the racing line, several of them lost position while activating their attack mode that proved to be quite powerful on the two long straights of the Marrakesh track.
With 19 minutes remaning, Guenther went into the lead. When da Costa activated his attack mode, the German had no chance to fend off the Portuguese’s attack who reclaimed his lead.
Despite starting from the back of the grid, Panasonic Jaguar Racing driver and championship leader Mitch Evans had managed to climb 18 places by the final moments of the race.
Audi driver Lucas di Grassi also delivered an impressive drive after starting from 13th. Season 3 champion climed up the order, finishing in 7th.
The dying minutes of the race saw Vergne und Guenther battling hard for the second place. The Frenchman had to fend off the attacks of the German who was unable to find a way past. However, the 22-year-old had one per cent more energy on the last lap while the reigning champion’s energy level became critical. With just two corners left, Vergne had to yield and Guenther took over the second spot.
In the meantime, da Costa was in total control of the race, finishing 11.4 seconds in front of Guenther and his teammate Vergne. By winning today’s Marrakesh E-Prix, the former GP3 driver has claimed his third Formula E triumph, bringing a long winless streak to an end that dates back to the 2018/2019 season-opener in Saudi Arabia.
Thanks to his two second-place finishes in the previous two rounds in Chile and Mexico and his win in today's Marrakesh E-Prix, da Costa has slipped into the lead in the Drivers' Championship. The Portuguese leads the Standings with 67 points, nine units clear of Mitch Evans. After failing to finish today's race, Alexander Sims slipped down the order to third, trailing the championship leader by 21 points.