28 Mar 20
26 Feb 20
Once again, we're storming into the Red City for the fifth round of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. Alongside the souks and sand, get set for another showdown on the streets of Marrakesh. Ahead of the race, here's 10 things you didn't know about the race in Morocco.
Established in the 11th century AD, Morocco’s fourth largest city has a population just shy of one million and is steeped in history. Now one of the African continent’s busiest cities, it serves as a major economic centre and tourist destination. Marrakesh is also called the ‘Red City’ for its numerous red sandstone buildings that dot the Old Town.
Marrakesh is one of the imperial cities of Morocco, which are the four historical capitals of the North African country, along with Fez, Meknes and the current Moroccan capital and political centre, Rabat.
Renowned for being one of the series’ most energy demanding circuits, the highly technical track features 12 turns, three straights and a series of bends completing a track length of 2.971 km.
Alongside making the podium on every occasion, the Indian outfit Mahindra Racing has won the last two Marrakesh E-Prix, through Felix Rosenqvist in 2018 and Jerome d'Ambrosio last year. Sebastien Buemi won the first for Renault e.dams in the 2016/17 season.
The unofficial lap record around the Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan was set during last year’s Rookie Test on January 13, 2019 by Nico Muller (then Audi’s Test and Reserve Driver), with a time of 1:17.074. He beat the previous lap record of 1:17.262 set here by Mitch Evans in second practice the previous day. Muller knocked 2.5seconds off the best time recorded before the Gen2 era (a time which the Swiss had also set the previous year).
Saturday February 29, 2020 will see the first-ever Leap Day Formula E race. In some places, it’s considered unlucky to be born on Leap Day, or to hold special events, so what will the Leap Day hold for our Formula E drivers?
All three wins in Marrakesh have come from behind the front row, with Buemi earning his victory from seventh on the starting grid, Rosenqvist from third an last year’s winner Jerome d'Ambrosio from P10.
Overall, only three teams have made the podium at the three Marrakesh E-Prix combined: Virgin, Mahindra and Renault e.dams. That represents a Formula E record low for a circuit that has staged multiple E-Prix. Indeed, only one venue has produced fewer than three different teams on the podium overall and that’s the Berlin Street Circuit used once in May 2016 (instead of the German capital’s Tempelhof Airport track), which saw Sebastien Buemi win with Renault e.dams, followed by Audi pair Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi. Those same three podium teams, Virgin, Mahindra and Renault e.dams, have also secured the three pole positions in Marrakesh.
Only Sebastien Buemi has been awarded the extra power at all three Formula E races held in Marrakesh. Stoffel Vandoorne topped the voting last year here, with Antonio Felix da Costa, Felipe Massa, Pascal Wehrlein as well as Buemi making up the top five.
All three previous polesitters in Marrakesh went on to stand on the podium, but none managed to claim a victory. Both Felix Rosenqvist and Sam Bird went on to record third place finishes in Seasons Three and Five respectively, while Sebastien Buemi claimed the runners-up spot in Season Four