Da Costa takes title lead with

Image via @FIAFormulaE

Da Costa takes title lead with Marrakech ePrix victory

Antonio Felix da Costa is the third different driver to lead the ePrix standings, taking P1 in the race for the title with a win in Marrakech.

Da Costa takes title lead with

Image via @FIAFormulaE

Antonio Felix da Costa put in a dominant display to win the Marrakech ePrix while Max Guenther held off the second DS Techeetah of Jean-Eric Vergne to finish second.

Da Costa grabs pole for round four

Antonio Felix da Costa recorded an almost perfect weekend in Marrakech, grabbing pole position for round four of the 2019/20 Formula E series.

The DS Techeetah driver pipped BMW’s Guenther by 0.069s.

Guenther had looked the favourite for P1 but a lock up at Turn 11 cost him vital tenths and allowed da Costa to take his team’s first pole of the season.

Andre Lotterer lined up third, a further 0.026s off the pace, while Mercedes rookie Nyck de Vries was fourth.

Reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne, who missed Friday’s action because of illness, qualified P11.

There was drama for Mitch Evans, who arrived in Marrakesh as the point’s leader but found himself stone last on the grid due to a strategy mistake from his Jaguar team.

“Honestly, I thought I did cross the line before the chequered flag but obviously not,” he said.

“Obviously, I’m furious. I did a 17.4 so I should [have been] clear.

“In that position [as championship leader], we shouldn’t be making these mistakes.”

A minor hiccup as da Costa races to win

Starting from pole position, da Costa made a fast getaway while Guenther came under attack from Lotterer.

The BMW driver held off the Porsche man before setting his sights on da Costa.

Chasing down the race leader, he made his move as the duo went side-by-side through Turn 11.

Da Costa, though, wasn’t going to let that rest and immediately fought back, using his Attack Mode to re-take the lead.

From there he didn’t look back, racing to DS Techeetah’s first win of the championship by 11 seconds.

“I mean I had to play a brave card I had to let Max get super close there and I had to force him to use his energy and in the second attack mode,” da Costa said.

“We had a good plan in mind and amazing preparation and we do a lot of hard work and it pays off.”

Da Costa was given a welcome hand by his team-mate Vergne, who despite feeling extremely ill just 24 hours before the race, bounced back on Saturday.

He put in an epic drive from 11th on the grid to challenge Guenther for second place.

Vergne slipped ahead of the German on the inside of Turn 1 but ultimately paid a price for having to fend off Guenther once too often and was passed with two corners remaining in the race.

Evans recovered from his back-of-the-grid start to finish P6 but lost the lead in the Drivers’ standings with 56 points to da Costa’s 67.

The result

1 – Antonio Felix da Costa – DS Techeetah – 46m52.757s
2 – Maximilian Guenther – BMW – 11.427s
3 – Jean-Eric Vergne – DS Techeetah – 12.034s
4 – Sebastien Buemi – e.dams – 12.282s
5 – Edoardo Mortara – Venturi – 15.657s
6 – Mitch Evans – Jaguar – 16.335s
7 – Lucas di Grassi – Audi – 18.706s
8 – Andre Lotterer – Porsche – 19.498s
9 – Oliver Rowland – e.dams – 20.126s
10 – Sam Bird – Virgin – 20.295s
11 – Nyck de Vries – Mercedes – 20.557s
12 – Robin Frijns – Virgin – 22.373s
13 – Jerome d’Ambrosio – Mahindra – 22.785s
14 – Daniel Abt – Audi – 25.080s
15 – Stoffel Vandoorne – Mercedes – 25.969s
16 – James Calado – Jaguar – 26.528s
17 – Felipe Massa – Venturi – 27.486s
18 – Neel Jani – Porsche – 44.476s
19 – Brendon Hartley – Dragon – 49.002s
20 – Nico Muller – Dragon – 53.075s
21 – Oliver Turvey – NIO – 59.969s
22 – Pascal Wehrlein – Mahindra – 1m13.414s
23 – Ma Qinghua – NIO – 1 Lap
Alexander Sims – BMW – Retirement