Formula E: Season 8 turns up the heat with return of Marrakesh E-Prix

The Formula E World Championship will return to Marrakesh this weekend as the race for the drivers’ title heats up.

The series will descend on the Moroccan capital for the fifth time in its history this Saturday, with the Atlas Mountains providing a stunning backdrop to the Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan.

Marrakesh marks a crucial stage of the season, with four drivers separated by the smallest margins. Following the dramatic Jakarta E-Prix, Mercedes-EQ’s Stoffel Vandoorne leads the way in the Drivers’ World Championship with a five-point advantage over nearest challenger and double champion Jean-Eric Vergne of DS Techeetah.

Jaguar’s Mitch Evans came out on top last time out in Indonesia and his third win of the season lifted him to within just 12 points of the standings lead. With a maximum of 29 points on offer over the weekend, any one of those four drivers could take hold of the season in Marrakesh.

The circuit

Taking place in the city’s centuries-old Agdal district, the track follows the form the Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan – named after the Crown Prince of Morocco – before spilling out onto the streets of Marrakesh’s hotel district.

With Marrakesh having first featured back in 2016, the circuit is renowned for being an energy zapping course, with a technical track features 12 turns, three straights and a series of bends completing a track length of 2.971km.

Sebastien Buemi of Nissan e.dams sealed the win on Formula E’s inaugural visit back in 2016, with Felix Rosenqvist and Jerome D’Ambrosio taking back-to-back victories for Mahindra Racing in 2018 and 2019. Last time, it was DS Techeetah’s Antonio Felix da Costa dominated proceedings on his way to securing the 2019/20 championship trophy.

What the drivers’ said

Stoffel Vandoorne, Mercedes EQ: “We are ready for the second half of the season. There are seven races left, and we have a very intense month and a half ahead of us, with a lot of E-Prix. It’s been a while since we last raced in Marrakesh, and this year it will be quite different because of the weather conditions. It’s going to be much warmer, and I think it’s going to be a much bigger challenge than the last time we were there in 2020, so it’s going to be very interesting. Like our last outing in Jakarta, the temperatures will be a challenge for the tyres, the battery and the energy management, so we can expect a tough race. But I also have the feeling that this could create opportunities, and I think we have prepared well for this event. So, I’m looking forward to being back on track and hopefully continuing our good form into the second half of the season.”

Edoardo Mortara, ROKiT Venturi Racing: “After our podium in Jakarta, I’m really looking forward to taking to the track in Marrakech and capitalising on the form we know we’re capable of. Since Berlin, we have been able to establish some good momentum but this definitely doesn’t mean that we can relax. We need to take the same approach for this weekend as usual and we know that we have the potential to finish well – we just need to execute a clean race and see where we end up.”

Mitch Evans, Jaguar TCS Racing: “Following the victory in Jakarta, I’m excited to get back in the car and keep racking up the big points. I know how fast the Jaguar I-TYPE 5 is and I’ve worked hard with the team to prepare for the different challenges in Marrakesh. We’ve seen before that Marrakesh can provide an exciting race so I’m looking forward to it.”

Sébastien Buemi, Nissan e.dams: “I’m looking forward to racing in Marrakesh, we haven’t been for a couple of years so it will be good to be back. Last time we were there in 2020 I finished fourth, so I’ll be aiming to take another strong result. Jakarta was interesting, it was a new track for everyone and we had good pace, especially in qualifying. It’s going to be very warm in Marrakesh, maybe the hottest ever for a Formula E race, so that will to bring additional challenges with the battery and tire management. The track is one we are familiar with but we’ve never experienced it in such conditions. The schedule will also be different to usual, with Free Practice 1 on Friday, so I can’t wait to be there and hopefully we’ll come away with some good points.”