Sebastien Buemi continued his winning start to the third Formula E season by fighting through to victory in Marrakesh on Saturday afternoon.
Defending Formula E champion Buemi qualified second in Marrakesh behind Mahindra’s Felix Rosenqvist earlier in the day, only to be demoted five places on the grid due to a penalty for a technical infringement on his car.
Starting seventh, Buemi was able to manage his energy perfectly during the race, going one lap longer than Rosenqvist and have plenty in hand for the second half of the race.
Rosenqvist made a lightning getaway from pole and dominated the early part of the race, enjoying a lead of over five seconds once the pit cycle had been completed with Jean-Eric Vergne in pursuit.
Vergne’s win hopes were ended when he was hit with a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane, allowing Buemi to come into play as he reeled Rosenqvist in at a rate of almost two seconds per lap.
Rosenqvist was powerless to keep the Swiss driver behind, having to conserve energy while his rival swept past with six laps remaining.
From there, Buemi managed his pace well to guide his Renault e.dams across the line in first place, marking his eight victory in Formula E.
Sam Bird followed Buemi home, having mirrored his rival’s strategy to give him the same kind of advantage over Rosenqvist, who was left to settle for third come the checkered flag. Nevertheless, it marked the Swede’s first podium in just his second Formula E race.
Nicolas Prost came home in fourth place in the second Renault, while Lucas di Grassi battled his way up from 12th on the grid to finish fifth. Teammate Daniel Abt followed in P6 ahead of Oliver Turvey, who was able to pass Vergne on the last lap as the Frenchman saved energy before ultimately crossing the line eighth.
Nick Heidfeld brought home two points for Mahindra in P9, while Jose Maria Lopez picked up his first point in Formula E by crossing the line 10th for DS Virgin Racing.