12 Jan 18

Abt: "we've got to get those points back"

With the 2018 ABB FIA Formula E Marrakesh E-Prix just hours away, we catch up with some familiar characters - as well as some fresh faces - in the pitlane, ahead of Round Three of the championship.

The 'street circuit specialists'
Edoardo Mortara, Venturi Formula E Team

We were really competitive in Hong Kong but that doesn't mean we're going to be competitive here. In motorsport, you almost start from zero every time, so we'll have to wait and see.

My driving style fits nicely with Formula E. Right from the start (although I'm not going to say I was fast from the start) but I took to it quicker than I have done in other series. It seemed that what I was doing was working well almost straight away.

Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing

[Marrakesh] is a bit easier than Hong Kong - some of the corners have runoffs, for example. But it's a different challenge - it's a much higher speed with long straights, which makes it difficult to manage the coasting. But that's the fun part of Formula E - to have different challenges each weekend. It's going to be very tight race, which I'm excited about.

I have good memories of this one, so hopefully [tomorrow will be] as good as last year if not a little bit better!

Mitch Evans, Panasonic Jaguar Racing

Hopefully, we can be on the podium by merit tomorrow [in contrast to Hong Kong].

Obviously, as a racing driver, you want to be competing at the front. Last year was very hard for the team but we always had the bigger picture in mind. This year, I'm motivated to keep getting good results and keep at the front. I just really want to taste some champagne, to be honest!

This track is very high energy, the laps are long, you're on full-throttle for a long time compared to most circuits - it's a completely different track to what we're used to - especially compared to Hong Kong.

Daniel Abt, Audi Sport Abt Shaeffler

I'm very confident. We were right there in Hong Kong - even though officially we didn't win - but it doesn't change the performance that we showed and it doesn't change the fact that we were strong in both races. With that, it would be the wrong approach to be thinking about Hong Kong now. We've just got to see the positives and we've got to get those points back.

I'm expecting a guy like Rosenqvist to be strong. He was strong last year and their car seems to be good. But also, I don't expect Renault e.dams to be as bad as they were in Hong Kong. You've got to look out for everyone in this paddock!

Mortara will also be quick, for sure. I was surprised by his performance and I think everyone was, to be honest. It's funny because, before the weekend in Hong Kong, we were joking that I might lap him and then, I was like - yikes, this guy is fast!

The title defender

Sebastien Buemi, Renault e.dams
It's tough to say if my driving style is suited to Marrakesh. I won last year and we were dominating, so in a way, I want to say yes but on the other hand, you need to find out why you were dominating - what was making the difference?

It's a completely different setup and a different season - so, what happened here [last year] was good but I don't take anything for granted. We're working on what we can do and trying to extract the most out of our package.

We've done a lot of work [since Hong], so hopefully it's going to pay off!

The home race rookie

Michael Benyahia, Venturi Formula E Team
I'm very excited to be here. I've done a lot of work with the team and spent a lot of time on the simulator, learning a lot about the track and the car. It's really my main job to be developing the car for the team but hopefully next season, I'll be a full-time driver for Venturi.

I'm really hoping to learn as much as possible on Sunday - that's my goal.

Having Formula E in Marocco - my home country - is fantastic. The country is really rapidly evolving towards electric now. We're developing lots of solar panels and wind farms, which are close to the ocean, so we're really developing how we go about generating electricity. With all that, having Formula E here is really helpful for the country and the environment in Marocco.

The comeback

Jose Maria Lopez, DRAGON
I wanted to be back. I knew if I had one year off, it would be difficult to get back in with the level and speed at which Formula E is growing. I had the contact already and I got the opportunity, so I took it - it's very important to me to get back [into Formula E] as soon as I could.