Antonio Felix da Costa scored his first win for DS Techeetah in Saturday afternoon’s Marrakesh E-Prix, defending from a series of charges by Max Guenther and Jean-Eric Vergne.
The Portuguese driver started the race from pole for the first time since the 2018 Diriyah E-Prix and had a relatively smooth race to the line in Morocco, keeping control of most of the race despite briefly losing the lead.
His biggest challenges came from Santiago winner Guenther, who momentarily took the lead for BMW i Andretti Motorsport for around seven minutes, in what appeared to be da Costa purposely slotting in behind the German in order to save energy.
Da Costa made his way back past Guenther a few laps later, using Attack Mode, en route to becoming Formula E’s record ninth different winner in as many races, stretching back to Lucas di Grassi’s Berlin E-Prix win in May.
The Marrakesh circuit is one of the series’ most energy-demanding tracks, with three long straights and a number of heavy acceleration zones.
This factor played against da Costa’s DS Techeetah teammate Vergne, who almost ran out of energy on the final lap and lost second position to Guenther just a couple of corners before the checkered flag.
Vergne put on an impressive display from 11th on the grid, moving up to the runner-up spot and setting up the Franco-Chinese team for a 1-2 finish.
This was all despite him missing Friday’s running due to illness and still being under the weather today.
He recovered at the line to take third position, with Guenther moving into the runner-up spot.
Sebastien Buemi finished fourth for Nissan e.dams after a strong but rather anonymous run for the Swiss driver, while ROKiT Venturi Racing’s Edoardo Mortara completed the top five.
Another major storyline was that of Mitch Evans, who finished sixth despite starting from the very back of the grid, in 24th position, after a qualifying misjudgement saw him exit the pits marginally too late and fail to set a lap time.
Lucas di Grassi placed seventh in the final standings, with Porsche’s Andre Lotterer eighth, who had been as high as third for a while early on before dropping back.
It was a surprisingly calm race, with no retirements except for Alexander Sims, who stopped on the final lap. There was no major contact and no yellow flags or neutralizations.
RESULTS: Marrakesh E-Prix