MARRAKECH, Morocco – Jerome D’Ambrosio sprinted to victory in a dramatic last lap dash to the finish during Saturday’s FIA Formula E Marrakesh E-Prix.
Despite picking-up his third victory in Formula E, it’s the first time D’Ambrosio has actually stood on the top step of the podium – having benefitted from a post-race disqualification on both previous occasions.
The win marks his first win since the Mexico City E-Prix in 2016 – and his first in Mahindra Racing colors. D’Ambrosio started 10th, but steadily progressed up the ranks to find himself sat behind the leading BMW i Andretti Motorsport pairing of Antonio Felix da Costa and Alexander Sims.
With less than 10-minutes left on the countdown clock, Da Costa and Sims looked set to bring home a one-two for the team – topping off a perfect start to the season after a win in the opener in Ad Diriyah.
Things took a dramatic turn when Sims, who was running second to Da Costa, pulled alongside Da Costa into the braking zone in turn seven in an attempt to snatch the lead.
Both drivers locked-up and touched each other, with neither making the corner. The incident and slow recovery back to the racing line dropped Sims to fourth while Da Costa made contact with the barrier in the run-off area.
That gave the lead to D’Ambrosio, who lined up behind the safety car as the clock hit zero, leaving one lap to run until the checkered flag. Running wide over the kerb in the final corner – D’Ambrosio took the victory with Robin Frijns chasing him to the line.
“The race was really hard-fought and incredibly intense. At least that’s what it felt like from inside the cockpit,” said D’Ambrosio. “I knew I could achieve a top-five result as the race pace was amazing in Ad Diriyah and here also. A couple of things played-out to our advantage and winning this race means a lot for the team and the hard work over the past few weeks. We’ll enjoy tonight, but tomorrow we get back to work.”
D’Ambrosio and Frijns were joined on the podium by Sam Bird, who started on the Julius Baer pole position and tangled with reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne on the run down to turn one.
Sims ended up finishing fourth after his late-race pass attempt on Da Costa. Jean Eric-Vergne completed the top-five.