The race was round two of the 2017/17 season and again, just as in round one, it was the team’s reigning Champion driver, Switzerland’s Sébastien Buemi, who did the winning in the team’s highly sophisticated Z.E.16 car.
Buemi’s victory means he has got his title defence under way with two maximum scores. His points tally of 50 points puts him 22 clear of nearest challenger, Abt/Audi’s Lucas di Grassi – his main rival from the 2015/16 season.
Furthermore another fourth place finish for French team-mate Nico Prost in Marrakesh gives Renault e.dams a large early lead in the teams’ championship which it also won in 2015/16 – it has 74 points to second-place Abt/Audi’s 36.
However Buemi’s win in Marrakesh was hard-fought. He had qualified second fastest but a penalty put him back to seventh on the grid. Before the pit stop window – in which drivers rapidly switch over to a second, fully charged car to complete the race – he had already started to make up places and save power at the same time.
This meant he was able to make his pit stop later than many of his rivals and, when he rejoined the track, they had already begun using up into the energy levels of their second cars. Again Buemi was able to pick off those ahead and, with six laps to go, he moved into the lead for his eighth career win in Formula E.
It also marked Renault e.dams fifth Formula E win in a row after its victories in the final three rounds of the 2015/16 season. Looking ahead, the next round of the 2016/17 season is in Buenos Aires, Argentina (Sat 18 Feb) – a circuit Renault e.dams has not won on before…
After the Marrakesh race Jean-Paul Driot, Senior Team Manager: “It’s very good to enter the winter with such a strong points advantage, especially with a long period before we head to Buenos Aires.
“Sébastien drove a very strong race to fight back from his penalty which was backed-up by a strong race from Nico too, so it was a great team effort all round.
“We didn’t get distracted by the early pace of some of our competitors but focused on driving our own race with our own strategy which meant the result came our way at the chequered flag.”
Buemi said: “My cars were amazing today and the balance was really good. In my first lap I used a bit too much energy but after that we were able to save charge so we could be strong and push when we needed later in the stint and this really worked for us.
“We know we have an efficient car and we had to take advantage of that after we started further back on the grid than we wanted. I was able to extract everything I needed from the car and it shows the team is working really well, so it’s been a very positive start to the season.”