Formula E Marrakesh E-Prix 2019

RasputinLives

So Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Contributor
The Formula E Express is taking us to Marrakesh. Yes you can still smell the Cranberry sauce on the drivers breath but come 2pm GMT on Saturday 12th of Jan it's game time in Formula E with Gen 2 car getting it's second outing. I think it's debut was viewed as pretty good even if attack mode did look a tad odd. Of course BMW will be ecstatic with getting a win in their very first race as a manufacturer. Even if they are not the quickest car in the field it's still secures bragging rights over Audi.

After his win in round one Felix Da Costa will be eying a title run. As good as he is, having not watched DTM, I've only seen him in two title fights; GP3 where he got bested by both Mitch Evans and Danny Abt - and WSR where he got bested by Magnusen and Vandoorne. This doesn't bode well really as far as withstanding pressure goes. BMW is not the fastest car out there but, as we've seen in Formula E, the fastest car out there really depends on where in the world the sport is and which way the wind is blowing. So the best way to mount a title challenge is to be consistently in that top 4 - which is exactly what Vergne did last year. This time last year in Marrakesh the race was won by Rosenqvist and Mahindra.

Speaking of Mahindra - I was as surprised as anyone to see Felix Rosenqvist in their car last time out but it appears it was a last min thing. Merc suddenly realised that Wehrlein's contract with them didn't run out until 31st of Dec and didn't let him race. He is in now though and after the result his team mate D'ambrosio got last time out he'll expect to be up near the front. However he should be cautious. Firstly D'ambrosio is no slouch when he hits form and he could have just played a blinder last race. Secondly we've seen time and time again that however talented a driver is jumping into a Formula E car is not that easy as their are a lot of new things you have to learn to manage in a race before you can use your natural driver talent to its full extent and sometimes debuts can be a nightmare. For instance Andre Lotterer's Formula E debut was the worst debut I've seen from any driver in any catogry. If you'd told me he'd be a front runner just a year later I'd have laughed at you.

Which brings us on neatly to Teechetah. In 2018 they were the little customer team who punched above their weight. In 2019 they are the factory team who seem to be the class of the field. They have the best driver line up in Vergne and Lotterer (shades of Senna/Berger at McLaren Honda) and their car was far quicker than anyone elses us in Saudi Arabia. But for the power penalties it would have been a one two for sure. Which perversely brings me to believe the team should be unhappy as the name of the game in Formula E is to take the opportunity you are given. It remains to be seen as to whether Teechetah runs as well in Marrakesh. if they don't then they could be upset they didn't take all they could the round before.

A team that is already upset is Audi. After crawling their way back from a disastrous start last season they have gone straight back to having a disaster this year. With the practice session being wiped out by the rain they didn't shape up their car correct for the race and ended up with power penalties and at the back. The really worrying thing is that neither they or their customer team Virgin powered their way back through the field with Di Grassi saying the car had 'no pace'. That doesn't sound good but hopefully a bit of fine tuning will bring them into play. Di Grassi, Abt, Bird and Frinjs all have Audi power units this year and it would be a real shame to see drivers of that calibre not able to make an impact at the front.

The other teams to watch for are Nissan and Jag. Both sitting in the exact same zone as last year where a good day for them (and bad for others) could score a win. Mitch Evans got his usual 4th place last time out and Buemi challenged at the front before slipping back. Not mentioned much was what they are calling Oli Rowlands debut (the whole world seems to have forgotten he did one race in 2015) as he clawed himself up the field to be just behind Buemi. I'm a big fan of Rowland and I really want to see him push Buemi this year.

So that's what to look out for at Marrakesh. Hoping for a great race. My predictions are never brilliant but I'm going to tip D'ambrosio for surprise win. The start of the season was a little tainted for me by the political controversy of the venue so glad the sport is now in North Africa where there is no controversy at all......oh....errmmmm. Well at least the race after is safe - I mean there has never been any dodgy politics in Chile.

Live on Red Button on BBC and available on catch up on iPlayer. Also on Eurosport and BT sports.
 
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F1Brits_90

Race Winner
fantastic preview, looking forward to this because that was a surprise in Saudi Arabia as I thought vergne moving to citroen did have the drop off I expected being 7th on the grid, then was dominant in the race & should've won but for the penalty. audi I believe will get back to pace as we cant forget 12 months ago then had scored a point in the 1st 4 rounds but went on to become constructor champions

I hate to say because I went to record it because ill be busy at football watching utd playing QPR. that on the BBC red button channel on sky, says that they aren't showing it until 5.30pm
 

Angel

Pole Sitter
Contributor
Right, I've made a note of it and will try to make sure I watch this one. Good write up RasputinLives I liked the line about 'cranberry sauce still on the breath of the drivers' :snigger: Seriously though, what you wrote helps if you've never watched Formula E before and I did only ever watch part of the first ever race.
 

Angel

Pole Sitter
Contributor
I just tried to look up the start time on the Red Button channel. Finding it isn't easy is it? According to what I saw they're showing it from 3pm - 5.30pm, but another tv guide site said it was on from 5.25pm to 7.55pm. So colour me confused. If anyone figures out exactly when it's on I'd be interested to know :rolleyes:

I might just set the recorder to record from 3pm to 7.55pm That way I can't miss it, right? ;)
 

RasputinLives

So Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Contributor
The 3pm sounds right as UK are an hour behind Morroco!

Anyways this video of drivers commenting on last year's race made me giggle

 

RasputinLives

So Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Contributor
I believe I've started all 3 of my Marrakesh E-Prix thread by paraphrasing the above. :)
 
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RasputinLives

So Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Contributor
on the BBC red button channel on sky, says that they aren't showing it until 5.30pm
I just tried to look up the start time on the Red Button channel. Finding it isn't easy is it? According to what I saw they're showing it from 3pm - 5.30pm, but another tv guide site said it was on from 5.25pm to 7.55pm. So colour me confused. If anyone figures out exactly when it's on I'd be interested to know
To add to the confusion my TV guide on Virgin hasn't got any programmes scheduled into the Red Button channel at all that day! I'm guessing that means BBC haven't decided. My money is on 2:30 - 5:30.
 

RasputinLives

So Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Contributor
The BBC have dropped Formula E into its younger age group catogry and like all content in that catogry they assume (rightly or wrongly) that it's not about live TV anymore and that people will stream it when and wherever they want to - so they'll shove it in IPlayer for 28 days and expect people to pick it up there.

They did exactly the same with the recent UK NFL games - although they at least gave some BBC2 coverage to it.
 

F1Brits_90

Race Winner
i agree with tv scheduling because Im a person of that somewhat but then jimmy carr once said that tv schedule will become meaningless soon because everyone will stream or use the sky+ planner. which is true for me as i'll get stuff on demand. but the 1 expection & will always be the expection is live sport because for me its mostly bar work or other clashing sport ;). it is the 1 thing I watch live
 

Angel

Pole Sitter
Contributor
I like live racing too, that is why I'm less than happy about F1 being all highlights for me from now on :bawl:

On another note, it seems Arthur, younger brother of one Charles Leclerc is going to be racing for the Venturi team this weekend. It will be interesting to see if he's as good as his big brother or if he will be like Ralf was to Michael Schumacher. ;)
 

RasputinLives

So Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Contributor
Angel he'll be doing the rookie test which takes places a couple of days after the race. Along with the likes of Fittapaldi, Marchellio and Sirotkin.

Arthur looks young!
 

Angel

Pole Sitter
Contributor
Angel he'll be doing the rookie test which takes places a couple of days after the race. Along with the likes of Fittapaldi, Marchellio and Sirotkin.

Arthur looks young!
Oops, I clearly got over excited and didn't read it properly :whistle:

Yes he does look very young, then again Charles isn't that old is he? I looked it up, Charles is 21, Arthur is 18. Bless.
 

RasputinLives

So Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Contributor
So it looks like BBC are delaying the coverage on the red button channel because it clashes with Final Score. So "As Live" footage starts at 17:25 and runs until 19:25.

Kind of reminds me of trying to watch F1 in the early 90s when F1 got bumped on Grandstand for Tennis and Football.
 

Angel

Pole Sitter
Contributor
Yep, I looked it up again this morning and have set my recorder accordingly. I will check it again tomorrow morning, just in case it's changed, I know they do love to mess around with the schedules without warning :rolleyes:
 

F1Brits_90

Race Winner
interesting race, great drive from d'ambrosio from 10th on the grid, I dont think ive seen anyone happier, ive seen world championship being celebrated less than that win :D. massively helped out by the huge BMW cock up which I agree with Dario, I think it 50/50 between the both of them, why was sims trying such a risky move on your teammate of all people & why was da costa not letting him go he was in front & could he locked both wheels up. instead costed them both

but championship I cant help but still have vergne as huge favourite for this title because he currently joint 2nd in table & he had some issues in both races drive thru penalty in Saudi arabia but gets 2nd. spins to back of the grid in morocco (what happened there) & finishes 5th. when he finally has a clean race he will be dangerous

also on tangent I love the fact that In post race interview d'ambroisio mentioned his girlfriends name. because I thought its bad enough being named after custard, his girlfriend is lenor named after fabric softener
 

RasputinLives

So Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Contributor
Guys you've seen a miracle happen. I correctly predicted the winner in the race discussion thread intro! Mark that in your calendar as they day may never come again!

Really enjoyed that one. Where did the Virgin boys come from? Didn't expect them in the race at all. Something about Sam Bird makes Vergne see red and was not surprised to see him try a daft move off the start on him. I still think that Teechetah car is fastest in the field but with Lotterer's mess up in qualifying and Vergne off the start we never saw it. As for BMW - oh dear. From a seasons point of view looks like Audi will get in the mix which will be good to watch. Nissan and Jag look a long way off though.

Just to close I've always had a soft spot for D'ambrosio and seeing how delighted he was with the win just makes me like him more - wearing my Mahindra shirt with pride tomorrow.
 

Angel

Pole Sitter
Contributor
I tried to watch it, I really did. I was enjoying the race as well after that crazy first corner action, but I only lasted just over ten minutes before the noise made me have to give up :teary::bawl::bangfists::givemestrength:
 
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