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ROSENQVIST: Marrakesh Debrief

Felix Rosenqvist submits his latest column describing another successful weekend where he took a second win of the season for Mahindra in Marrakesh…

Photo: Formula E

Two wins from three races isn’t too bad, is it!

Last weekend in Marrakesh went very well for us at Mahindra and to be able to seal the third victory for the team felt very special, so I have to start out by just saying a huge thanks to them for working so hard and providing such great cars.

Going into practice on Saturday I was expecting to be good here, as we were strong last year.

Then out on track it was a completely different car than I expected, which led to a lot of lock-ups and no rhythm in my driving. I was not really happy, in fact I think that both Nick (Heidfeld) and I were struggling quite a bit, so we knew we had to do something to not be back in the midfield pack.

The key was that between practice and qualifying we realised how to use the tyres in the cold conditions and that was what really changed everything.

In qualifying the temperature remained the same and if anything, we might have expected the later groups to have been better I think, which didn’t seem to be the case. In my opinion, it was just a matter of randomness, some people screwed up and some didn’t.

It was not easy, but it was certainly a lot easier in quali than it was in practice for us. But in Formula E, the moment that you become over-confident it always bites you in the backside.

In Super Pole I managed a lap good enough for third place despite a big, big moment at the beginning of it. Then came some drama!

I didn’t actually know if I even had a car for the second stint, as our guys had to do a battery change just prior to it, so I was praying hard.

The first phase of the race was good, and I was able to get in to P2 when Sam [Bird] had an issue and I got through.

Then came the pit stop but as I say, I wasn’t sure what was waiting for me in the pits in respect of how the team had got on with the car rebuild. They were working on it right up until the pit stop, so it was quite a story.

I was actually happy that the Full Course Yellow came out just as we stopped to swap cars. The call came as expected so it didn’t really have an impact on strategy or anything, but we did lose a few seconds on the stop to Buemi.

Photo: Formula E

As a team we certainly needed to step up this weekend and I think that we got there, but there were some snags with the radio, the belts and a few things because they were just coming from working on the car and they were under big pressure.

I actually didn’t feel that Buemi was that strong in the first stint. I was waiting for him to just go, but he didn’t, and I felt stronger through that whole phase.

For the second stint I heard I was better on energy and I was catching him, so I knew that we would be fighting for the win, as I had learned what he had pace-wise in the first stint.

I think the good thing was that we got the pass done quickly and we weren’t banging wheels for three laps which would have then let others catch us both. I think from his side he realized that we were number one today and so it happened relatively smoothly.

The feeling when I crossed the line to win was brilliant and we really enjoyed the podium and leaping into the lead of the points standings.

However, my approach is completely different to last year. This year I am fully in it for the championship. I know that to be champion it is not about just taking poles or to win by 20-seconds; you have to keep putting the points on the table all the time.

Now we have won two races in a row, but obviously it is not going to stay like that for the whole year. We are expecting tougher races, but we will just keep doing what we are doing at Mahindra. We have plenty to come, so at the moment things are looking strong.

Catch you next time in Santiago, Chile!

Felix

A two-time Macau GP winner, Felix Rosenqvist drives for Mahindra Racing in the FIA Formula E Championship.

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