29 FEBRUARY 2020, MARRAKESH, MOROCCO – Mahindra Racing headed to Marrakesh for the fifth round of the 2019/20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship, which took place today. After winning the race in the past two seasons with Felix Rosenqvist (2018) and Jérôme D’Ambrosio (2019), the team headed to its happy hunting ground in search of a hat-trick. Unfortunately, it was not to be this season and the squad’s pairing of D’Ambrosio and Pascal Wehrlein finished in 13th and 22nd respectively.
Jérôme qualified today in seventh position, just missing out on Super Pole. He had a good initial start when the lights went out for the beginning of the Marrakesh E-Prix, moving up to fifth on the first corner, but then as the pack battled on the opening lap he moved down to tenth. He ran as high as ninth place but lost positions in the closing laps and crossed the line in 13th.
After showing good pace in practice, Pascal had to settle for a 16th place qualifying position after he made a mistake on his lap. He was promoted to 15th after Robin Frijns was handed a postsession penalty. He drove well and made several overtakes to start moving forward in the race, but then a rear left puncture set his fate and he was forced to pit for a tyre change. Emerging at the back, there was little else he could do and he finished in 22nd. In the latter stages of the race he set the fastest lap, but this is only deemed valid if the driver scores a top ten finish.
DS Techeetah's Antonio Felix Da Costa won today’s Marrakesh E-Prix, with BMW’s Maximilian Günther second and Da Costa’s team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne was third.
"It's a bit disappointing because we had a good qualifying and it’s a real pity not to finish in the points when you start there. I struggled - the first lap wasn’t great - I was into P9 and then just didn't have the pace and I struggled to gain anything in Attack Mode. We need to work to understand how to manage it better."
"The weekend was a bit difficult. We struggled a bit with the tyres on my car and in qualifying I made a mistake which put me a bit on the backfoot for the race. In the race I was making up some positions but then I got hit and sustained a puncture. That’s a shame because other drivers who were behind me up to that point finished quite easily in the points so the potential was there. We will work now on improving for the next race."
DILBAGH GILL, TEAM PRINCIPAL
"Today was not the day we were aiming for and not what we deserved. We had some really encouraging results earlier on in the weekend and Jérôme had a good qualifying result. We knew we had pace and Pascal’s qualifying was not down to lack of speed or performance; that was demonstrated by his fastest lap in the race. Marrakesh hasn’t been as kind to us as usual but we'll be back for more trophies. This is motor racing and we have to learn from our day and get right back on it at the next round. It was great for both of our drivers to receive Fanboost this race; thank you to the passioneers that support us through thick and thin."