Da Costa continues fine form to win Marrakesh ePrix from Guenther and Vergne

Antonio Felix Da Costa continued his fine form in the ABB Formula E series by taking a dominant victory in Marrakesh, taking the chequered flag from Santiago winner Maximillian Guenther and DS TECHEETAH teammate Jean-Eric Vergne.

It was a superb performance from Da Costa, who was second in both Mexico City and Santiago for his new team, hammering home his Super Pole advantage and managing his battery regeneration perfectly to take the victory after a tight battle with Guenther.

“I had to play a little bit of a brave card in there, you know and kind of let Maxi get super close at one point and then I kind of pushed him into using the extra energy he had on me,” said Da Costa afterward. “I knew he was a little bit better so I kind of forced him into using that and then with the second Attack Mode.

“I was controlling Andre and then when he was close enough, I used it and it worked out perfectly. I think we had a good plan in our mind and amazing preparation back home, all the guys in Paris, we do a lot of hard work and it pays off, so than one was really cool. I have to say to JEV, hat’s off. This guy had a tough week. I think he’s struggling right now but he pulled off a podium for the team, so well done.”

Whilst it was Da Costa who took the plaudits for the race win, it was Vergne who was arguably the driver of the day, the Frenchman fighting back from 11th on the grid after sitting out Friday’s running with a dose of the flu and a crippling migraine.

It could have been even better, the two-time champion using all of his experience and racing nous to hold off a charging Guenther during a dramatic finish, the German squeezing past with three corners remaining and Vergne down to zero energy.

Sebastien Buemi was fourth for Audi ahead of Edoardo Mortara and a superb Mitch Evans, who started from the back of the grid after failing to get across the line in time to start his qualifying lap, a stunning misjudgement from the Jaguar team.

Lucas di Grassi was next, ahead of Andre Lotterer as Oliver Rowland and Sam Bird rounded off the points scorers.

“It was definitely intense, fighting against both the TECHEETAH cars,” said Guenther afterwards. “Towards the end it became quite exciting with JEV as he passed me with his last seconds of Attack Mode, but we knew we could manage it with the energy and make the move with two corners to go for P2 and a very nice feeling to have P2 today.”

With Marrakesh, wider and more sweeping than many of the city circuits on the calendar, it led to exciting racing but without much of the bottle-neck mayhem that often afflicts other races on the calendar. In that regard, it was a fairly incident-free race in terms of collisions but certainly not in terms of overtakes, drivers swapping places with regularity all the way down the grid.

The result in Marrakesh now means that it’s Da Costa who takes over at the top of the drivers’ standings, 11 points clear of Jaguar’s Evans with the BMW i Andrettis of Sims and Guenther next.

Antonio Felix da Costa (PRT), DS Techeetah, DS E-Tense FE20, 1st position, Maximilian Günther (DEU), BMW I Andretti Motorsports, 2nd position, and Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA), DS Techeetah, DS E-Tense FE20, 3rd position

Fraser Masefield

Sports news and features writer, web editor and author.