Marrakesh ePrix Report

Race two of the 2016/17 FIA Formula E Championship took place today on the city streets of Marrakesh. NextEV Formula E Team’s Oliver Turvey took home points for finishing seventh, while Nelson Piquet Jr unfortunately finished out of the points due to an issue in the mandatory pitstop.

Turvey qualified in group two and recorded a fastest lap of 1:21.853 which, after everyone had qualified, secured him a fourth row starting spot on the grid for the 33-lap race, beginning from eighth. Oliver had a strong start to the race, which was the longest race distance run to date in Formula E, and maintained eighth position through to lap 15, when he was passed by Lucas di Grassi, putting him into ninth. He made his pitstop on lap 17 and gained a position, emerging in eighth. He had another strong second stint, maintaining position and then passing Jean Eric Vergne on the last lap to finish in seventh, collecting six points for finishing seventh.

Piquet Jr finished fifth overall in qualifying, which put him through to Super Pole, where the top five dual it out in a final pole shoot-out. He finished fourth, but a penalty for Sebastien Buemi promoted him to start third in the race. He ran a solid first stint, coming in for his mandatory pitstop on lap 16 in fifth position after losing places to Jean Eric Vergne and Buemi. Unfortunately he suffered an issue in the pitstop when there was an issue initialising the car, causing him to lose 51 seconds and putting him 18th in the standings at the start of his second stint. He was able to make up two places due to Loic Duval stopping on track and Mitch Evans touching the wall but, with a large time deficit to the remainder of the grid, he was unable to progress any further, crossing the line in 16th and unfortunately out of the points.

Oliver Turvey (Car #88) – finished 7th
“I got a good start and held position. After that I was able to create a gap to the guys behind, maintained our energy targets and kept a consistent pace. The pitstop went well and the second stint was pretty consistent. I was on my own most of the race, but it’s another race that we learnt a lot and we improved from the last race. We want to be higher up but to score another six points is good.”

Nelson Piquet Jr (Car #3) – finished 16th
“It’s been a difficult day. We were having an okay race but I knew I couldn’t fight too much against Sebastian [Buemi] and Jean Eric (Vergne), so I kept to my strategy. When I came in for the car change we had an electrical issue which lost us a lot of time and at that point it was game over. It’s very frustrating so now we have to investigate what happened so it doesn't repeat. There’s a big break now until the Buenos Aires race in February so we will look to come back strong.”

Gérry Hughes, Acting Team Principal, NextEV Formula E Team
"A difficult day for the NextEV Formula E Team. Qualifying, whilst clearly not the highlight that we witnessed in Hong Kong, was strong for Nelson and it was a shame that Oliver did not make in to Super Pole. Starting from P3 and P8 on the grid respectively meant that we were well positioned for a strong performance in the race, although Nelson suffered an electrical issue during the car change which dropped him to P18 after the pit stop and effectively ended his race. Oliver had a more straightforward race to P7 but struggled with some brake issues in the second stint, which hampered his progress. Passing Vergne on the last lap secured more valuable points for the team but we have more work to do to improve our race pace compared to our performances over a single lap.”

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