D'Ambrosio takes Marrakesh win after da Costa, Sims collide

Image by Joe Portlock/LAT

D'Ambrosio takes Marrakesh win after da Costa, Sims collide

Formula E

D'Ambrosio takes Marrakesh win after da Costa, Sims collide

Mahindra Racing’s Jerome d’Ambrosio took an improbable victory — the first of his five-year career in the series — in a chaotic second round of the FIA ABB Formula E Championship in Marrakesh, Morocco, after BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Antonio Felix da Costa and teammate Alex Sims collided while battling for the lead. Following close behind in second and third were Envision Virgin Racing’s Robin Frijns and Sam Bird, who battled through the chaos to keep their places on the podium.

Seconds after the lights turned green, second-place starter Jean-Eric Vergne (DS Techeetah) spun at Turn 1 after trying to pass Bird on the inside. The spin dropped Vergne down to 19th place, while Nissan e.dams’ Sebastien Buemi was also delayed after swerving to avoid Vergne.

Just seven minutes into the race, HWA Racelab’s Gary Paffett damaged his car hitting his teammate Stoffel Vandoorne, sending both drivers out of the race. Soon after, Mahindra Racing’s Pascal Wehrlein pulled into the pits, having also made contact in the opening laps.

Da Costa zipped past Bird in Turn 4, with Sims also getting past the Envision Virgin driver later on the same lap. Bird fell to third ahead of teammate Frijns, who was defending from the advances of  d’Ambrosio and Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler) in sixth.

Di Grassi made a dive for the Attack Mode Activation Zone. Engaging the extra power, di Grassi made his way up to fourth and was looking to make a move on d’Ambrosio for third when the extra 25kW of power ran out.

Taking their turns with Attack Mode, Frijns and d’Ambrosio closed the gap to the leading BMW Andretti cars before Sims collided with his teammate as the pair ran out of track room and made contact coming into the Turn 7 left-hander at the end of the main straight. Da Costa ran straight into the wall and retired, his hopes of a second successive victory dashed, while Sims fell to fourth behind d’Ambrosio, Frijns and Bird.

The race resumed after a Safety Car period with a minute remaining, but D’Ambrosio held off Frijns to claim his long-awaited first win.

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