Round two of the 2018/19 Formula E championship, set in the historic city of Marrakesh, delivered a pulsating race featuring first lap carnage, a six-way fight for the win, teammates in turmoil and a surprise winner in the form of Jerome d’Ambrosio in only his second appearance for Mahindra Racing.

 

 

 

1st Jerome d’Ambrosio

The euphoric scenes following the race showed exactly what it means to win in Formula E, and the Belgian star managed to do just that in only his second outing for the Mahindra squad. D’Ambrosio was brilliant in combat in Marrakesh, avoiding the melee on the opening lap and moving up the field thereafter. He was aggressive but fair in battles with Lucas di Grassi, Sam Bird and Robin Frijns respectively, before capitalising on the in-house fighting at BMW Andretti to win. What made his drive more impressive was his ability to manage the ‘attack mode’ utilising it after his rivals had, truly ameliorating the effects. The only blotch on his copybook was being outpaced by rookie teammate Pascal Wehrlein in qualifying, however, when you can manage a race like that, it means very little.

 

Rating: 9.5/10

Seasonal average: 9/10

 

 

2nd Robin Frijns

Dutchman Frijns has made an impressive start to life with the Virgin Racing team, claiming a podium in just his second race for the team, and his highest position to date in Formula E. This didn’t stop him being beaten in qualifying by his teammate. However, the Dutchman had strong race pace, proving able to catch and pass teammate Bird, ultimately, he was unsuccessful in his endeavour to hold off d’Ambrosio, a failure which cost him a race win as it transpired.

 

Rating: 8.5/10
Seasonal average: 8/10

 

 

3rd Sam Bird
A sublime superpole lap seemed to revitalise last season’s defeated title contender, with his former foe, Jean-Eric Vergne beaten to it to less than half a tenth. This super performance, sadly for the Brit, did not lead to the result it arguably warranted. After somehow surviving the first corner calamities, Bird set out trying to build a gap, however, it quite quickly became clear this wasn’t possible, with a host of cars such as the BMWs, and Bird’s teammate Frijns, all able to follow in close proximity. His resistance, while valiant, ultimately proved futile as he fell to fifth. However, he kept his nose clean and managed to be one of the main benefactors of the BMW collision, which promoted him to third.

 

Rating: 8/10
Seasonal average: 7.75/10

 

 

4th Alexander Sims

In only his second ever Formula E race, Alexander Sims has shown already that he can win. A trait that coupled with the machinery he has at his disposal could see him emerge as a championship contender. In the end, that first victory slipped through his fingers due to a polarising clash with his more experienced teammate, Antonio Felix Da Costa. Up until that point, Sims had looked like a veteran, qualifying for superpole and stalking Da Costa throughout much of the race. He was there on merit and truly showed his ability. In my opinion, the blame for the highly contentious incident must fall at the feet of Da Costa.

 

Rating: 8.5/10
Seasonal average: 7.5/10

 

 

5th Jean-Eric Vergne

What could have been for the reigning champion in Marrakesh? With the front row secured, the Frenchman made a slow getaway, leaving him at risk of being overtaken by rivals such as Sebastien Buemi. Countering this, Vergne clumsily slammed the brakes on, and in missing his mark, he ploughed into the side of pole-sitter Bird, dropping the Techeetah star to the tail of the field. From thereon, Vergne put in a vintage display, mercurial to say the least, and raced through the field to finish ahead of his teammate in fifth. However, this doesn’t take away his dismal opening lap and he surely would have been in contention to win the race without his error.

 

Rating: 5.5/10
Seasonal average: 7.75/10

 

 

6th Andre Lotterer
An uncharacteristically sloppy weekend was the main talking point for Andre Lotterer in Marrakesh, as an error in qualifying left him 20th on the grid and feeling displeased. However, similarly to his race in Ad Diriyah, Lotterer put together a combative drive to come home in the top six. Despite his recovery, he was passed on track and beaten by his teammate who had dropped to the rear of the field on lap one, making his performance a somewhat disappointing one in context.

 

Rating: 5/10
Seasonal average: 6.5/10

 

 

7th Lucas di Grassi
For a former Formula E champion, a seventh-place finish may be seen as a poor result, however, in Di Grassi’s case, it once again represents a top class drive from a man who simply maximises the car at his disposal time after time. The Brazilian successfully survived the first corner chaos and from thereon, set about challenging the Virgin cars of Frijns and Bird. Unfortunately for di Grassi, his Audi car simply lacked the pace for him to keep chase and he ended up being passed by both Techeetahs late on in the race. The Brazilian, however, was once again a step ahead of teammate Daniel Abt, and he continues to lead Audi’s charge as its tough start to the season goes on.

 

Rating: 7.5/10
Seasonal average: 8/10

 

 

8th Sebastian Buemi
Buemi put his rookie teammate, Oliver Rowland, in the shade in Marrakesh, delivering a high-quality performance that his eighth-place finish doesn’t necessarily reflect. Like many, he lost time in the first corner calamities, but after getting through with his car intact, managed to fight back well at a circuit in which he’s performed well at in previous seasons. Eighth is not where either he or his Nissan team will have wanted, and a podium finish could have been a realistic possibility had he not been disadvantaged in the aftermath of Vergne’s turn one spin.

 

Rating: 8.5/10
Seasonal average: 8/10

 

 

9th Mitch Evans

The lesser esteemed of the two Jaguar drivers once again managed to prevail in the inter-team rivalry, comprehensively outperforming former series champion Nelson Piquet for the second race in succession. Evans brilliantly stuck his Jaguar into superpole, but a lockup in that session scuppered his chances of securing a second career pole position. Unfortunately, in starting fifth, he found himself pushed wide by the late braking di Grassi in turn one, however, he once again drove a courageous race to salvage some valuable early season points for the second race on the bounce.

 

Rating: 7.5/10
Seasonal average: 8.25/10

 

 

10th Daniel Abt
For Abt, a season which promised much hope seems yet to have really started, and another race ended in the minor points placings seemed to have added to his frustration. Once again outperformed by di Grassi, the form that made him the star performing for many races in the second half of last season seems to have deserted him for the moment. This, for the second weekend in a row, left Abt floating in midfield obscurity, not the result he, nor his team expected.

 

Rating: 5/10
Seasonal average: 5.25/10

 

 

11th Jose Maria Lopez
A race which promised much but ultimately delivered no points. After comfortably besting his teammate over a lap, ‘Pechito’ avoided the carnage and raced in the top 10 early on before fading in the second half of the race to end up narrowly outside of the points.

 

Rating: 7/10
Seasonal average: 7.75/10

 

 

12th Maximilian Gunther
Clouted the wall in qualifying, but came through the field well to finish just behind his more experienced teammate. A solid performance in only his second race, but still room for improvement.

 

Rating: 6.5/10
Seasonal average: 5.75/10

 

 

13th Edoardo Mortara
Out-qualified by his rookie teammate, Felipe Massa, but bounced back in the race to finish as the lead Venturi car with an accomplished drive. However, with his Monegasque team struggling with efficiency during the race, points were once again unattainable.

 

Rating: 7.5/10
Seasonal average: 5.5/10

 

 

14th Nelson Piquet Jnr
Overshadowed by his teammate, Piquet spent most of the weekend in midfield anonymity. The only real major talking point would be radio outburst at fellow Brazilian Massa during practice. While the Brazilian was fierce off-track, his tame display was anything but that on track.

 

Rating: 4/10
Seasonal average: 5/10

 

 

15th Oliver Rowland
With the honour of top rookie in Ad Diriyah, Rowland came into the weekend with high aspirations, but he found himself trailing teammate Buemi in both qualifying and the race. The Brit will hope to bounce back in Santiago

 

Rating 4/10
Seasonal average 5.5/10

 

 

16th Oliver Turvey

Turvey continues to do all he can in an underperforming car, once again outperforming teammate Tom Dillman in Marrakesh. However, despite running seventh early on, points once again alluded the Brit as his NIO team continues its difficult start to the season.

 

Rating: 7.5/10
Seasonal average: 7.5/10

 

 

17th Tom Dillmann
A solid yet unspectacular display from Dillmann to finish directly behind his teammate in Marrakesh. A race to forget, and he’ll be especially keen to move on from a bizarre incident that resulted in him rear-ending Frijns in the pitlane during qualifying. Brake issues were blamed, but embarrassing nonetheless.

 

Rating: 6.5/10
Seasonal average: 6.5/10

 

 

18th Felipe Massa
The experienced Brazilian has failed to set the world alight in his opening two Formula E races, with the phrase ‘baptism of fire’ quite applicable to his start. He did manage to out-qualify Mortara this time, however, he was outpaced in the race and finished last of the runners as Venturi’s efficiency issues were highlighted.

 

Rating: 5/10
Seasonal average: 6/10

 

 

DNF Antonio Felix Da Costa
What could’ve been for the Portuguese star? After qualifying on the second row, Da Costa showed excellent race craft, leading after passing polesitter Bird, but his attempts to pull away were scuppered by teammate Sims. A widely polarising BMW collision left the paddock divided, however, Da Costa was magnanimous, taking full responsibility afterwards.

 

Rating: 4/10
Seasonal average: 6.75/10

 

 

DNF Gary Paffett
Another weekend to forget in Marrakesh. After a qualifying lap which left him toward the tail end of the field, Paffett’s dismal weekend was compounded with a coming together with his teammate on the opening lap after bother were forced to take avoiding action from the chaos ahead.

 

Rating: 3/10
Seasonal average: 3/10

 

 

DNF Pascal Wehrlein
The German, making his Formula E debut, began the weekend with a sterling qualifying display to place seventh on the grid. Wherlein’s race, however, came to an abrupt end on lap one when he was clumsily rear-ended by di Grassi who outbraked himself approaching the first corner.

 

Rating: 7/10
Seasonal average: 7/10

 

 

DNF Stoffel Vandoorne
Another testing weekend for Vandoorne in Marrakesh. A complete shutdown compromised what was looking like an impressive lap in qualifying, and as a result, he was forced to start 22nd and last on the grid. The race itself was over before it began, colliding with his teammate Paffett on lap one.

 

Rating: 3.5/10
Seasonal average: 4.75/10

 

Image Credit: Formula E