Formula E – Marrakesh ePrix Preview


The third round of this season’s FIA Formula E Championship will be taking place at the Moulay El Hassan street circuit in Marrakesh, Morocco.

The main story in the build-up to the event is the sudden departure of Neel Jani from Dragon Racing.

The Swiss driver joined the Formula E outfit following Porsche’s exit from the World Endurance Championship in favour of joining the all-electric series for season five.

This sparked rumours of a potential collaboration between the two parties, similar to that of Venturi/HWA and Andretti/BMW.

Prior to the season’s opening, it emerged that Dragon Racing would not be pursuing a partnership with Porsche, and following a dismal performance which saw them fail to score points across the two races, Jani confirmed his exit. He is now focusing on preparing for Rebellion’s LMP1 efforts.

In a statement, Jani stated: “As a result of changes that were unforeseen, Dragon Racing and I have decided that it is in the best interest for the future of the team and myself that we end our alliance.”

He went on to wish the team well: “I would like to thank Dragon Racing for giving me the opportunity to experience Formula E, and I wish them all the best for the continuing season.”

For Marrakesh, the empty seat will be filled by multiple World Touring Car Champion, José María López, who claimed two podiums whilst racing for the DS Virgin team last season.

Lopez said: “This is an exciting opportunity for me and I’m looking forward to challenge of Formula E in season four with Dragon”

“I have good experience from season three, and I’m confident that we can achieve strong results as the season progresses.”

Following the first two races of the year, DS Virgin’s Sam Bird leads the Drivers’ standings on 35 points, having won the opening race in Hong Kong.

Two points behind him is Jean-Eric Vergne (Techeetah), with Felix Rosenqvist (Mahindra) in third on 29 points after inheriting the victory in Round 2 of Hong Kong’s double-header after the disqualification of Audi’s Daniel Abt.

The Formula E circus has only made one trip to Marrakesh in the past, with the Renault e.Dams of Sébastien Buemi claiming the chequered flag in the 2016 ePrix, with Bird and pole sitter Rosenqvist joining him the podium.

Live Coverage of the Marrakesh ePrix will be available in the UK, with qualifying coverage starting at 11:45am on 5Spike and the race build-up starting at 3pm on Channel 5 before the race start at 4pm.