Rosenqvist overhauls Buemi for Marrakesh win
13 January 2018 – Mahindra's Felix Rosenqvist made it back-to-back victories as he overhauled long-time race leader Sébastien Buemi to triumph at the Marrakesh ePrix, taking the championship lead in the process.
Rosenqvist held third place during the opening stint of the race as Buemi converted pole position into the lead, while Sam Bird slotted into second from the front row of the grid.
Rosenqvist slipped past Bird shortly before the pit stop phase, when the Briton slowed due to a gearbox issue, and closed in on Buemi as the car change period approached.
A Full Course Yellow, caused by André Lotterer coming to a halt, led to the bulk of the field pitting on the same lap, and Buemi emerged with his advantage over Rosenqvist extended to two seconds.
Rosenqvist, though, reeled in 2015/16 champion Buemi and pulled off a sublime move into Turn 7 on lap 29 of 33, with Buemi unable to respond to the Mahindra racer.
Bird overcame his gearbox woes to finish a solid third, while Nelson Piquet Jr. and Jean-Éric Vergne avoided trouble to claim fourth and fifth respectively, the Frenchman rising from 13th on the grid.
Dragon newcomer José María López lost ground early on but stabilised his position and ultimately collected sixth place on his first appearance for the team.
Maro Engel and Nick Heidfeld survived a late clash with Engel's Venturi team-mate Edoardo Mortara to take seventh and eighth, though the instigator of the collision was forced out.
Mortara's exit promoted debutant Tom Blomqvist into ninth, while Nicolas Prost rounded out the top 10 after passing Alex Lynn, the Briton hampered by an early clash with Daniel Abt.
Abt was issued with a drive-through penalty and placed 12th, compounding a miserable day for Audi, as reigning champion Lucas di Grassi suffered another dismal race, retiring early due to a mechanical issue.
1. Felix Rosenqvist - 54 points
2. Sam Bird - 50 points
3. Jean-Éric Vergne - 43 points
The next round of the season will take place in Santiago, Chile on February 3