Marrakech E-Prix: Mortara wins to take Formula E points lead

Edoardo Mortara repelled a late charge from polesitter Antonio Felix da Costa to win the Marrakech E-Prix and sweep to the top of the Formula E standings.

Marrakech E-Prix: Mortara wins to take Formula E points lead

The Swiss driver collected his third victory of the season in a tentative Morocco encounter, where hot conditions ensured that teams were seeking to stave off the threat of overheating batteries - and thus precipitated an uncharacteristically early trade of attack modes among the front-runners.

Mortara had preserved his second place on the grid off the line, having a fleeting look at the inside of da Costa at the start before the DS Techeetah driver closed him off.

The Techeetah squad appeared to try and clear its pair of three-minute attack modes early on, on both occasions providing Mortara with the lead.

After the first Techeetah activations on lap 5, Mortara followed them onto the Turn 3 attack mode zone a lap later, conceding the lead back to da Costa - who largely chained his attack modes together when taking another dose of 250kW on lap eight.

But this time, Mortara hung on for an extra lap before taking his second, which yielded enough of a gap over da Costa to go off-line for his hit of extra power and return in the lead.

Edoardo Mortara,  Venturi Racing, Silver Arrow 02

Edoardo Mortara, Venturi Racing, Silver Arrow 02

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

From there, the Venturi driver began to preserve his lead, as the Techeetahs squabbled with Mitch Evans and a rapid Oliver Rowland - who had hurled his Mahindra into the upper reaches of the field early on in the race.

But it became clear that Jean-Eric Vergne was preserving his energy for a late push and, after dropping to sixth at one stage, began to rise back through the ranks to return to third - with da Costa ahead.

With Vergne in the championship hunt, Techeetah swapped the cars around. Vergne had an extra 2% of battery charge over Mortara and was encouraged to use it to close in - but was unable to make enough of a dent in Mortara's lead.

Da Costa thus bargained to be allowed past, as Vergne's energy advantage had dissipated, which Techeetah granted to give Mortara considerable pressure towards the end.

But although the Portuguese driver was looming large in Mortara's mirrors, he was unable to claim a first win of the season as Mortara managed his pace expertly.

Vergne dropped considerably by the end of the race, bringing him into Evans' sights for the final lap. On the run to Turn 3, Vergne lifted off very early and caught the Jaguar driver by surprise - but Evans had the presence of mind to nip past and bag a podium.

Lucas di Grassi enjoyed a steady ascent through the field and, although he was passed for fifth late on by Nyck de Vries, the Brazilian snatched the position back on the final lap.

De Vries was unable to provide an answer to di Grassi's late assault despite an energy advantage by the end, but remained untouched for sixth as Jake Dennis was a further 3.6s down the road.

Although Dennis had been among the top five in the first half of the race, the Avalanche Andretti driver had to back off slightly to meet his targets on power, but was himself largely unbothered for seventh place.

Stoffel Vandoorne rescued eighth place after qualifying in a lowly 20th place following braking issues, putting together a well-managed race to enact a push into the points.

The Belgian loses his title lead, and finished ahead of Sam Bird - who in turn was just 0.2s clear of Rowland as the Mahindra driver's early promise was underpinned by a level of energy overconsumption.

Vandoorne's late push dumped Oliver Askew out of the points after the American had started from a season-best seventh place, while Pascal Wehrlein also dropped out of the points as Porsche appeared to opt for an excessive level of energy saving at the start - which ultimately failed to pay off.

Formula E Marrakech E-Prix - Race Results

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval
1 Switzerland Edoardo Mortara Monaco Venturi 34 46'45.410    
2 Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa France Techeetah 34 46'47.707 2.297 2.297
3 New Zealand Mitch Evans United Kingdom Jaguar Racing 34 46'51.680 6.270 3.973
4 France Jean-Eric Vergne France Techeetah 34 46'52.375 6.965 0.695
5 Brazil Lucas di Grassi Monaco Venturi 34 46'53.197 7.787 0.822
6 Netherlands Nyck de Vries Germany Mercedes 34 46'53.804 8.394 0.607
7 United Kingdom Jake Dennis United States Andretti Autosport 34 46'57.494 12.084 3.690
8 Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne Germany Mercedes 34 46'59.951 14.541 2.457
9 United Kingdom Sam Bird United Kingdom Jaguar Racing 34 47'00.458 15.048 0.507
10 United Kingdom Oliver Rowland India Mahindra Racing 34 47'00.680 15.270 0.222
11 United States Oliver Askew United States Andretti Autosport 34 47'01.746 16.336 1.066
12 Germany Pascal Wehrlein Germany Porsche Team 34 47'15.453 30.043 13.707
13 New Zealand Nick Cassidy United Kingdom Virgin Racing 34 47'17.380 31.970 1.927
14 United Kingdom Alexander Sims India Mahindra Racing 34 47'17.742 32.332 0.362
15 Germany Andre Lotterer Germany Porsche Team 34 47'17.774 32.364 0.032
16 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi France DAMS 34 47'19.117 33.707 1.343
17 United Kingdom Oliver Turvey United Kingdom NIO Formula E Team 34 47'20.428 35.018 1.311
18 Netherlands Robin Frijns United Kingdom Virgin Racing 34 47'21.096 35.686 0.668
19 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi United States Dragon Racing 34 47'26.297 40.887 5.201
20 Brazil Sergio Sette Camara United States Dragon Racing 34 47'28.174 42.764 1.877
21 Germany Maximilian Gunther France DAMS 32 44'36.730 2 Laps 2 Laps
22 United Kingdom Dan Ticktum United Kingdom NIO Formula E Team 28 39'56.472 6 Laps 4 Laps
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Marrakech E-Prix: Da Costa snatches his first pole of 2022 FE season
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