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Featured Buemi Victorious Again as Formula E Premiers in Africa

Discussion in 'Formula E Championship' started by pjlee1998, Nov 12, 2016.

  1. pjlee1998

    pjlee1998
    Peter Lee Staff

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    Sebastian Buemi has scored yet another Formula E victory at the second round of the 2016/ 2017 Formula E Championship in Morocco, the series' first venture onto the African continent. The Swiss driver took the lead in the later third of the race, taking a 2.5 second victory from Brit Sam Bird.​


    The Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan in the Moroccan capital Marrakesh was once again uncharted territory for the teams and drivers to tackle as the series arrived at the 3km circuit also used by the WTCC. The 33 lap race was the longest Formula E race thus far in the sports short history, the race distance close to 100km in length, a challenge of long straights and tight corners that proved draining for the power units.

    In qualifying, a stunning lap by series debutant Felix Rosenqvist put Mahindra Racing on pole for the first time, the 2015 European F3 champion just 0.037 seconds ahead of Hong Kong victor Sebastian Buemi to claim his first pole position, the reigning champion in turn just over a tenth ahead of DS Virgin driver Sam Bird. The Swiss driver would be relegated to seventh on the grid however after a five place grid penalty for an underweight fire extinguisher. Hong Kong pole man Nelson Piquet Jr would therefore line up third despite making a mistake in Superpole in his NextEV NIO machine while Techeetah driver Jean Eric Vergne failed to turn a wheel in the final shootout due to his team missing his time slot for his lap, resultantly lining up fourth. An unfortunate result for the Frenchman who was quickest prior to the shootout and could have certainly challenged for pole.

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    A perfect lap in Superpole gave both Felix Rosenqvist and Mahindra Racing their first pole.

    Rosenqvist performed a stellar start to lead into the bumpy turn one ahead of Sam Bird and Nelson Piquet Jr. Unlike Hong Kong, the first lap was very clean, the only light contact coming from the Jaguar of Mitch Evans and the two Faraday Future Racing cars of Jerome D’Ambrosio and Loic Duval at the tight Turn 10 hairpin, though minimal paintwork and bodywork damage was the only consequence of the incident.

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    Not fazed by his grid penalty, Buemi made quick progress through the field in the opening laps.
    Despite his grid penalty, Buemi made short work of his teammate Nico Prost and was up to fifth position by the end of lap 7 after passing Daniel Abt at turn ten. Although disappointed after qualifying, Jean Eric Vergne had worked his way to a provisional podium spot after an astonishing dive on Piquet Jr at the notoriously difficult turn one. After setting the fastest lap of the race, Buemi quickly caught the NextEV NIO driver of Piquet Jr, diving up the inside in the braking zone of turn seven on lap 11.

    Lucas Di Grassi's poor 12th place qualifying position had left him deep in the mid pack and fighting to get into the top ten, which he achieved a third of the way into the race, passing slowing Antonio Felix da Costa on lap 12. Da Costa would later bring out the yellow flags as he was forced to stop with electrical problems. Once the yellow flags had been brought back in, Vergne continued his surge through the order, passing Sam Bird on lap 15 into turn one.

    The long circuit length coupled with the demanding layout resulted in a small pit stop window, Rosenqvist pitting from a solid four second lead in front of Vergne on lap 16, while Bird and Buemi opted to stay out for an extra lap, which paid off for Buemi as he managed to overtake the Briton on his in lap. Solid pit stops by all the front runners left them in status quo after the pit stop phase, a perfect stop by Mahindra helping to extend Rosenqvist’s lead to over five seconds at the halfway point of the race. This lead would quickly diminish after the drivers changed into their second cars though, as Vergne gained on the Swede by up to a second a lap. Jubilation for the Frenchman was short lived however as he received a Drive Through Penalty for speeding in the pit lane which he served on lap 23, dropping him to fifth.

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    Towards the end of the race, pit stop strategy would prove crucial in deciding the final outcome.

    In the latter third of the race, it would become apparent that the early pit stop by Rosenqvist would be a mistake as both Buemi and Bird made serious inroads into the Swedish drivers' lead, which he would lose to Buemi on lap 27 following an impressive outside move at turn eleven. Third place Sam Bird also overtook Rosenqvist in the final laps to take the middle podium spot as the Mahindra driver was forced to ease off the pace in the final laps in order to finish.

    And so Buemi made a repeat performance of his Hong Kong finish, once more claiming victory, his eighth of 23 starts in the championship. Sam Bird finished second, and Felix Rosenqvist, who once again impressed on just his second race in the series completed the podium. Buemi’s eDams teammate Nico Prost finished fourth ahead of the two ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport drivers, Di Grassi passing Daniel Abt within the last ten laps to finish fifth. After his drive through penalty, Jean Eric Vergne suffered similar issues to Felix Rosenqvist as he would also have to ease the pace, eventually finishing eighth behind Oliver Turvey. Loic Duval, who had been plagued with car troubles throughout the race, set the fastest lap of the race in the closing laps, claiming the additional point for Visa Fastest Lap.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2016
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  2. 4 8 15 16 23 42 108

    4 8 15 16 23 42 108
    Only the 5th-most famous race driver from Kerpen Premium Member

    What a pity the Renault power train is so superior. This can bring a dull season. Hopefully Buemi will throw his gap away like last season.
     
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  3. Luckily Buemi misses a round, that may help ;)
     
  4. fortyfivekev

    fortyfivekev
    Premium Member

    Big fan of Felix Rosenqvist so nice to see him at the front. Other than that a dull race and as Andreas says if Renault keep that kind of advantage then there will probably be more of the same to come.
     
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  5. 4 8 15 16 23 42 108

    4 8 15 16 23 42 108
    Only the 5th-most famous race driver from Kerpen Premium Member

    Didn't take a look at the schedule yet. Thanks! But somehow bad the other way round? Well, happens.
    I love him back from the old F3 days!

    It's clear to see Buemi is a great driver. No doubt! But there are lots of fast drivers throughout the field. That's why on one q lap Buemi is not that much better overall.
    But Renault has got a better efficiency right now. Just imagine the race was a few kaps shorter. Wow that would be it...
    But I understand the long distances are useful to help development of more efficient drive trains.
     
  6. Rodent

    Rodent
    Premium Member

    Pretty impressive to see Rosenqvist go from series to series while still doing well, hoping we see more of him in Blancpain and DTM and/or that he replaces Ericsson as the token F1 Swe so we can finally have someone above decent. Still waiting on that next Peterson. Rosenqvist and (Joel) Eriksson both look promising.
     
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  7. 4 8 15 16 23 42 108

    4 8 15 16 23 42 108
    Only the 5th-most famous race driver from Kerpen Premium Member

    Interesting, Buemi did qualifying with a car, that had been 3.25 kgs to light.
    He only received a minor five place grid penalty while in every other racing series he would have started in the very back.