Free practise and qualifying:
Two practice sessions—both on Saturday morning—were held before the Saturday late afternoon race. The first session ran for 45 minutes; the second lasted 30 minutes. A shakedown was held on the Friday before the event where Buemi recorded the fastest lap time of one minute and 30.152 seconds, one second faster than Rosenqvist and Jean-Eric Vergne in second and third. The session was run in cool weather conditions with low sun because dawn had broken through one hour before the 45-minute period began. Lucas di Grassi used the maximum 200 kilowatts given to him during a qualifying simulation lap and was fastest with a time of one minute and 21.923 seconds, almost two-tenths of a second faster than Prost in second. Buemi was third-fastest, ahead of Vergne and da Costa. Jerome dAmbrosio, Felix Rosenqvist, Mitch Evans, Nelson Piquet Jr., and Stéphane Sarrazin rounded out the session’s top ten drivers. Evans spun and ran wide at the first turn late in the session, while José Maria Lopez damaged his car’s suspension after colliding with the turn 11 barrier, causing him to spend most of the session in the pit lane for repairs, but later caused further damage with another hit in the session’s closing period. In the second practice session, Buemi was fastest with a lap of one minute and 20.599 seconds; Rosenqvist was second and Vergne third. Oliver Turvey was fourth-fastest, Loic Duval was fifth, and Daniel Abt sixth. Piquet, da Costa, di Grassi and Heidfeld followed in the top ten.The session was ended prematurely with three minutes remaining when Bird lost control of the rear end of his car, slid into the turn eight barrier, which heavily damaged his vehicle’s back-end, and stopped on the circuit.
Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session ran for 60 minutes and was divided into four groups of five cars. Each group was determined by a lottery system and was permitted six minutes of on-track activity. All drivers were limited to two timed laps with one at maximum power. The fastest five overall competitors in the four groups participated in a “Super Pole” session with one driver on the track at any time going out in reverse order. Each of the five drivers was limited to one timed lap; the starting order was determined by the participants’ fastest times. The driver who recorded the fastest time was awarded three points towards both championship
In the first group of five runners, Prost paced the session, nearly three-tenths of a second faster than da Costa in second, and Lopez third. Jérôme d’Ambrosio and Ma Quingua(who was unable to complete a maximum power lap) were the group’s two slowest drivers and all five drivers did not advance into the super pole round.Buemi was the fastest driver in the second group, half a second ahead of teammate Turvey. Heidfeld, Sarazzin, and Evans rounded out the top five, and Buemi’s time was fast enough for him to make the super pole round. In the third group, Vergne recorded the overall fastest time of any competitor in the group stages at one minute and 20.993 seconds, and advanced into the super pole period. Lucas di Grassi qualified 12th overall after narrowly avoiding colliding with the wall between the sixth and seventh turns. His teammate Abt was second quickest in the group, ahead of Heidfeld, Maro Engel, and Duval (who went wide on his timed lap which was recorded on reduced power). Rosenqvist immediately employed his car’s full power potential and was the fastest driver in the fourth (and last) group. He finished ahead of Bird, who equalled Vergne’s pace at first, but then made contact with the wall with his rear tyre which cost him time. Piquet was third in his fastest lap which saw him make contact with the wall once.Robin Frijns and Adam Caroll were the slowest drivers of the fourth group; the latter locked his rear tyres and went wide at the first corner, resulting in him starting 20th (and last). Rosenquvist, Vergne and Piquet were the final three drivers to qualify for the super pole round.
Piquet was the first driver to attempt his lap in the super pole round and heavily locked his tyres in turn nine and ran over some kerbs, as well as grazing the wall, and qualified fourth. Bird opted to drive cautiously to achieve an improved balance and took third. Buemi missed the turn one apex but was 0.140 seconds faster to move into provisional pole position. Rosenqvist began his timed lap by going faster than Buemi in the first second. He drove cleanly in the track’s next section, before running smoothly to move into the first position with a time of one minute and 21.509 seconds. Vergne was unable to set a lap time because an operational error by his team meant he missed the 30-second period to leave the pit lane in order to participate in the super pole round. This meant Rosenqvist secured his, and Mahindra’s, first pole position in Formula E.After qualifying ended, Buemi was issued with a penalty of five places on the starting grid because the fire extinguisher equipped in his car was discovered to be 3.25 kilograms (7.2 lb) underweight because it had been emptied from a possible leak. Buemi was fined €2,500.
A special feature of Formula E is the “Fan Boost” feature, an additional 100 kilowatts of power to use during the second half of the race. The three drivers allowed to use the boost were determined by a fan vote. For the Marrakesh race, Abt, Buemi and di Grassi were handed the extra power. When the race started, Rosenqvist made a fast getaway and maintained his pole position advantage heading into the first corner. Bird narrowly maintainted second place ahead of Piquet and Vergne. Heidfeld made a slow start and separated the field into two halves, holding up di Grassi. Engel and Heidfeld struck each other in the first corner, and made further contact two turns later, but both continued without sustaining major damage to their cars. Carroll made the best start in the field, moving from 20th to 17th by the end of the first lap, while his teammate Evans lost four positions over the same distance. At the end of the first lap, Rosenqvist led followed by: Bird, Piquet, Vergne, Abt, Prost, Buemi, Turvey, Frijns, da Costa, Heidfeld, di Grassi, Engel, López, Sarrazin, d’Ambrosio, Carroll, Duval, Qinghua, and Evans.
Rosenqvist began to pull away from the rest of the field by recording fastest lap times to be two seconds in front of Bird by the start of the fourth lap.He informed his team that the dashboard on his steering wheel was displaying only one page, limiting the amount of information available to him. Buemi overtook teammate Prost around the outside at turn seven to move into sixth place on the third lap, while Heidfeld went wide, allowing di Grassi to get out of the traffic jam, and passed him for eleventh position. He overtook Frijns to move into tenth place two laps later. Buemi feigned an overtaking manoeuvre on Abt and moved into fifth place after passing the driver around the inside under braking for the tenth turn on lap seven. Vergne drafted Piquet on the start-finish straight and the latter locked his tyres with Vergne passing him around the inside at the first corner to take over second place in the ninth lap’s beginning. Piquet immediately began to close the gap to Bird. Abt fell to seventh when he was overtaken by Prost at the first corner on lap ten, and the former defended from a large pack of cars. By the twelfth lap, Buemi had more usable electrical energy available and closed up to Piquet, overtaking him around the inside for fourth position at the seventh turn.
Da Costa’s vehicle stopped at turn eight on lap twelve. However, the deployment of a full course yellow was avoided when he received radio instructions from his team to perform a full reset, enabling him to rejoin the race.By then, he had dropped to the back of the field, and later became the race’s first retirement. Upfront, Rosenqvist held a five-second advantage over Bird by the fourteenth lap, but the British driver was being caught by Vergne by more than four-tenths of a second per lap. Vergne caught Bird, who had been backed into Buemi, and moved in front of him at the start of the 16th lap with the DS Virgin Racing driver electing not to defend the second position. The mandatory pit stops, during which all drivers need to change into a second car, began on the same lap. When Rosenqvist and Vergne entered the pit lane Buemi and Bird elected to remain on the circuit for another lap. Buemi was running quicker and overtook Bird at turn eleven on lap 17. He braked late for turn eleven but avoided going off the circuit.Piquet was affected by an electrical problem, ending his chances of finishing in a points-scoring position. Engel stopped his vehicle after making his pit stop, and became the event’s second retirement with electrical problems. After the pit stops, Rosenqvist regained the first position, retaining most of his four-second advantage over Vergne. Di Grassi had been passed by Turvey but reclaimed sixth place from the British driver shortly afterwards and started to close up to teammate Ab
On lap 20 it was announced that Vergne was under investigation by the stewards after he was found to have been speeding in the pit lane. He was issued with a drive-through penalty three laps later, ending his chances of battling for the victory. He remerged in fifth place ahead of both ABT cars but behind Prost,and Buemi inherited second place. Duval stopped on the track with powertrain problems on the 25th lap but was able to restart his car and continued in 18th position. Having made a pit stop one lap earlier than the rest of the field, Rosenqvist conserved electrical energy usage, allowing Buemi to close up to the Mahindra Racing driver at a rate of nearly two seconds per lap because he had activated the Fan Boost system, had more electrical energy available to him, and the requirement to lift and coast was minimal. Abt was overtaken by teammate di Grassi at the sixth turn and lost sixth place on lap 27. Shortly afterwards, Buemi drafted Rosenqvist, braked later than he did, and overtook him around the outside to take over the first position in turn eleven. López passed Frijns to move into tenth place.Vergne attempted to move ahead of Prost but was unable to pass, allowing di Grassi to close up to the Techeetah driver.Vergne defended his position, but di Grassi overtook him to take over fifth place at turn seven.
Duval recorded the race’s fastest lap on the 30th lap, completing a circuit of one minute and 22.600 seconds, earning him one championship point. Rosenqvist drove at reduced speed as he was struggling to conserve his battery’s energy usage, allowing Bird to close up to him.Bird drafted in Rosenqvist’s slipstream and overtook him for second place under braking for the eleventh corner on lap 31. Rosenqvist focused on his continuing effort to preserve electrical energy usage to reach the end of the event. On the final lap, after Piquet locked his brakes, Evans ran wide, drove off the circuit, and hit the barriers lining the circuit; he was able to continue. Duval stopped his car for the second time on the same lap. Buemi held the lead for the rest of the race to secure the victory. Bird finished second, ahead of the third-placed driver Rosenqvist. Prost took fourth, with di Grassi in fifth. Abt and Turvey overtook Vergne on the final lap to claim the sixth and seventh positions. Heidfeld and López rounded out the top-ten points scoring positions. Frijns, Sarrazin, d’Ambrosio, Carroll and Qinghua filled the next five places, with Piquet, Evans and Duval the last of the classified finishers. It was Buemi’s second consecutive victory of the season,and his eighth in Formula E. There were three lead changes in the race; two drivers reached the front of the field. Rosenqvist’s 24 laps led was the highest of any competitor. Buemi led once for a total of nine laps.