Formula 2 – Formula E: Jerome d’Ambrosio hails ‘hard-fought’ Marrakesh E-Prix victory

Formula 2 – Formula E: Jerome d’Ambrosio hails ‘hard-fought’ Marrakesh E-Prix victory

Mahindra Racing’s Jerome d’Ambrosio hailed what was a “hard-fought” victory at a thrilling and drama-filled Marrakesh E-Prix, with the Belgian racer taking the lead in the Drivers’ Championship.

D’Ambrosio, who qualified in 10th place for the second race of the 2018/19 season, benefitted from a spin in Turn 1 for reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne, gaining five places from the outset as a result of this error. 

Managing his pace perfectly, d’Ambrosio was able to overtake polesitter Sam Bird and Robin Frijns in the second Envision Virgin Racing car to move into the podium positions. 

Deploying his first use of Attack Mode very late into the race to gain a 25kW power boost for four minutes, d’Ambrosio was able to start to close in on both Antonio Felix da Costa and Alexander Sims who were running in first and second for BMW i Andretti Motorsport in what was set to be a 1-2 finish for the team.

With 10 minutes of racing remaining, an attempted move from Sims forced da Costa into a mistake, with the Portuguese driver colliding with the attacking Briton in Turn 7 – an incident that da Costa later took responsibility for. 

With da Costa crashing out of the race and while Sims ran wide in Turn 7, d’Ambrosio saw an immediate benefit, being gifted the lead of the race as a result of the contact, with the safety car swiftly being deployed.

While it was looking increasingly unlikely that racing would resume in Marrakesh, the green flag waved in the dying stages of the race, leaving a one-lap sprint to the chequered flag, and despite facing immense pressure from Frijns in second place, d’Ambrosio was able to hold onto first to take a third win in Formula E.

“The race was really hard-fought and incredibly intense,” he said post-race. “At least that’s what it felt like from inside the cockpit.

“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.

“I’ve been here [in Formula E] since the start, I’ve been fighting to be in this position and I’m just thankful to the team, to the people surrounding me,” he continued.

“The last year has been tough. We’ve had some tough moments and having the support of all of these people, and Dilbagh [Gill] giving me a ride this year I’m happy and happy that I can pay the team back like this. 

“This is a real win. I’m really happy. I fought hard for it.” 

Third place in Ad Diriyah followed by victory in Marrakesh marks d’Ambrosio’s strongest ever start to a new season, with the Belgian’s 12 point lead at the top of the Drivers’ Championship marking the first time that the driver has held first position in Formula E’s overall points standings.

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