ROKiT Venturi’s Edoardo Mortara secured his place at the top of the drivers’ standings with a victory in the Marrakesh E-Prix.
Mortara held off strong competition from the DS Techeetah pair of Jean-Éric Vergne and polesitter Antonio Felix da Costa to claim his third win of the season and to reignite his Formula E World Championship bid.
Having qualified in second place, Mortara kept constant pressure on Da Costa and timed his Attack Mode’s well to eventually build a sizeable lead from the chasing pack. With the majority of the grid opting to use their extra power boosts early on, the race soon became a straight battle between the drivers, but there was still plenty of action yet to unfold.
Jaguar’s Mitch Evans, who started the race sixth on the grid, was aggressive early on as he looked to build on his impressive run of form, climbing up the ladder and to within touching distance of the top three. The Kiwi was involved in a number of intense tussles throughout the afternoon – battling with Pascal Werhlein early on and fighting with Vergne on the very last lap to make it onto the podium in third place.
The closing stages of the race soon boiled down to strategy, particularly for DS Techeetah. With Mortara leading the race, second placed Da Costa allowed teammate Vergne to pass through, meaning the Frenchman would take the championship lead if things stayed as they were.
However, in typical Formula E fashion, the landscape changed quickly and with only a few laps remaining, Vergne’s pace was unable to cope with Mortara’s, who had began to peel away. Da Costa was confident in catching the ROKiT man and urged his team to instruct Vergne to let him through. Vergne obliged and Da Costa put his foot down, closing the gap in front almost instantly.
Energy management soon came to the forefront of everyone’s minds, particularly up front, as with one lap to go, Mortara and Da Costa seemed to concentrate on actually finishing the race rather than fighting for the win. The rest of the grid didn’t get the memo, however, as with just a few corners remaining, Jaguar’s Evans’ saw his opportunity for back-to-back podiums and wrestled past Vergne and into third place. His third place finish comes off the back of his win in the inaugural Jakarta E-Prix and makes it five podiums so far this season for the Kiwi.
Having won the previous E-Prix in Morocco back in 2020, Da Costa just missed out on successive wins in Morocco to Mortara, whose victory lifts him to the top of the drivers’ standings, ahead of Jean-Éric Vergne who just finished outside the podium positions following the late surge from Evans.
The rest of the top ten was comprised of Lucas Di Grassi, who rounds off an amazing day for the ROKiT Venturi team with a fifth placed finish. In sixth was reigning world champion of Nyck De Vries, who finished ahead of Avalanche Andretti’s Jake Dennis in seventh. Stoffel Vandoorne, the championship leader heading into Round 10, rescued an eighth place finish having started all the way back in 20th after a dismal qualifying session. Jaguar’s Sam Bird finished ninth ahead of Mahindra’s Oliver Rowland, who had found his way up into third at one point, but energy management saw the Brit slump all the way down to 10th.
The victory means ROKiT Venturi’s Edoardo Mortarta regains his lead at the top of the drivers’ standings, ahead of Jean-Éric Vergne, who is still without a win this season. Stoffel Vandoorne drops down to third after a disappointing performance.