Coming into the third round of the season, Sebastien Buemi and were keen to regain the ground they lost in Hong Kong and close the gap to championship leader Sam Bird.

 

Daniel Abt was another keen to prove his pace after having his win in Hong Kong stripped for a technical infringement – despite posing any performance advantage.

 

Marrakesh isn’t your typical circuit given its wide expanses (despite track limits marked in the tarmac) and as such, drivers were already pushing in the early stages of the first practice session. Abt was no exception, bringing out the first yellow flag by going straight off at turn seven. NIO driver, Luca Filippi was another to have a big spin but recovered to continue.

 

Edoardo Mortara meanwhile was having difficulty in his Venturi, enduring a few technical glitches before stopping on the exit at turn three. Team-mate Maro Engel would also experience similar dramas.

 

Nelson Piquet was looking very edgy in his Jaguar as the drivers fought for grip in the dusty conditions. The Brazilian was looking good inside the top three behind Buemi and Jose Maria Lopez, making his return to Formula E for Dragon Racing, replacing Neel Jani.

 

Fifteen minutes into the session Jean-Eric Verge split the Renault e.Dams of Buemi and Prost in his Techeetah only for Piquet to top the timesheets moments later. After being outshone by Jaguar team-mate, Mitch Evans in Hong Kong, Piquet was on full attack this weekend.

 

It was DS Virgin however that would reassert their position by going 1-2 with Sam Bird and Alex Lyn respectively while Lucas di Grassi was struggling on the limit – especially at turn eleven where he brushed the wall in an effort to split the DS Virgin entries.

 

With ten minutes remaining, Jerome D’Ambrosio put his Dragon at the top of the timesheets, however was using the full 200kW at his disposal. With the extra power usually indicative of roughly eight tenths of a second, D’Ambrosio’s lap still looked to a big improvement from the teams woes in Hong Kong.

 

That prediction was shattered however, when Lucas Di Grassi put his into top spot, some nine tenths ahead of D’Ambrosio’s best. Team-mate Abt however was quickest of the 180kW runners. Even so, the quick turnover at the top suggests qualifying will be anything but a predictable affair.

 

 Image: AudiSport