4 Fast Facts from a Memorable Victory at the Marrakesh E-Prix
Posted on: 16 January, 2019
It was only the second race for Jérôme D'Ambrosio in Mahindra Racing colours, and he is already charging ahead in the Formula E Championship, taking the lead of the driver’s championship after his stunning win in Marrakesh. The memorable victory at the Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan in the North African city of Marrakesh was a fourth electric street racing victory for Mahindra Racing and the third of Jérôme’s Formula E career.
An absolutely electrifying race packed full of action saw Jérôme take the lead towards the end of the race, after starting from tenth, and was the perfect example of how entertaining and competitive Formula E is. This was the first of (hopefully) many times that the Belgian and Indian national anthem played together on the podium; what a proud moment it was! I am, as my fellow passioneers are, really looking forward to an encore in the races to come.
The result in the Red City was Jérôme's first win with the team. Here are a few things that we can take away from Mahindra Racing’s spectacular second consecutive victory in Marrakesh:
Marrakesh, a home away from home for Mahindra Racing?
What is it about the elegant Moroccan city of Marrakesh that, year after year, Mahindra Racing returns to and delivers a jaw dropping performance? In Season 3, Felix Rosenqvist secured a podium for the team there after finishing third and then, in the following season, he took the outright victory. This time around, Mahindra Racing’s new driver Jérôme D’Ambrosio carried forward the team’s legacy in dramatic fashion and demonstrated to everyone just what the team and he could do together. No prizes for guessing which city Dilbagh and the team love coming to the most!
After previously admitting that Marrakesh hadn’t been kind to him in the past, 2019 saw fortunes turn around for Jérôme as the now three-time Formula E race winner kept his cool, remained consistent and took his place on the top step of the podium.
Pascal shows great promise
There were a lot of expectations surrounding Pascal Wehrlein, as he got ready to compete in his first ever Formula E race, and I was sure that his raw pace would leave many in awe. In his first ever qualifying session, the German showed exactly why everyone in the motorsport world rated him so highly as he qualified seventh on the grid, narrowly missing out on a Super Pole qualification. Sadly though, the youngest-ever DTM Champion in history was unable to show his mettle in the race due to behind hit from behind by Lucas Di Grassi heading into the first corner of the opening lap. The damage sustained by the car was too much for it to continue and Pascal’s race was cut brutally short. However, judging from the confidence and flair with which he drove in all the sessions, it is safe to say that Mahindra Racing has signed a gem of a driver with a very promising Formula E career ahead.
Attack Mode to Jérôme's advantage
Attack mode is Formula E's fresh and innovative method designed to make the race even more exciting and, although it was the focal point of a lot of confusion in Ad-Diriyah, it seemed to work wonders in Marrakesh! Attack mode added an extra variable for the drivers and the race winner used it at the best possible time; Jérôme waited for the right moment when he could go off line and get the 25kW power boost without losing any positions on track. This helped him stay in third place and catch up to the leading pack before taking over the lead of the race when the two BMW’s collided and went off track. Now that’s what I call a tactical masterstroke!
The race is where the magic happens for Jérôme and the M5Electro
The duo of Jérôme D'Ambrosio and Mahindra Racing now have two races under their belt together and both of them have followed quite a trend. While the team are looking for an improved qualifying performance, Jérôme has showcased his touch of magic when it really matters, during the race! Over the course of the last couple of races, the M5Electro has shown some solid race pace and battery efficiency, fulfilling the purpose of going fast while being as efficient as possible. The #64 Falcon has proved to be the Belgian’s new partner-in-crime, helping him carve his way up the order in both their races together so far. Let's hope that this continues!
Until then, here's a thrilling capture of Jérôme’s reaction on securing his victory…believe me, his excitement is so infectious, you'll be smiling ear-to-ear when you watch this.
Disclaimer: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Mahindra Racing.