• Marrakesh: Main challenge – energy management.

We travel to Morocco next weekend for the fifth round of the 2019/20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship season. The Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan, which is the host venue for the 2020 Marrakech E-Prix, is named after the Crown Prince of Morocco. At 2,971 metres in length, it is a combination of permanent race track and public roads. The circuit features seven left-hand and five right-hand corners and offers several good overtaking opportunities. All in all, it counts as one of the races on the current calendar where spectators will see the most overtaking manoeuvres.

A key factor in Marrakesh is energy management, on which the circuit places high demands. 57 percent of each lap is driven at full throttle, which usually results in relatively high energy consumption. For this reason, the drivers have to be even more efficient with the amount of energy available to them. Consequently, the judicious use of Attack Mode will have a significant impact on the outcome.

Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow 01 standing in the box
Ian James sitting in the box

Ian James.

“Following the disappointment of two DNFs in Mexico, our preparation for the next race in Marrakech has included a thorough analysis of what happened and how we can improve going forward. Nyck locked up while braking late to defend his position, causing him to crash out of the race. The situation was compounded by the reaction of the vehicle systems under such hard braking and we have been able to make software improvements to alleviate this situation in future. Stoffel was caught out by the worsening track conditions, hitting the wall in Turn 3. As he wasn’t the only driver to be caught out in this location, we could have done more to warn him in advance. Fortunately, we don’t have to wait long to get back on track and the race in Marrakech provides us with a fresh opportunity to build on an otherwise solid start to the season. We expect the track layout will provide plenty of opportunity for overtaking, so the Attack Mode strategy will be crucial. The fast track will also reward a well-balanced energy management strategy. It’s a great chance for Nyck, Stoffel and the rest of the team to come back fighting.”    

Stoffel Vandoorne.

“The last race in Mexico didn’t end the way we had hoped, so it’s good to be back in action just two weeks later in Marrakesh. The team has already learned a lot during the season, and it will be interesting to see what progress we’ve made in Marrakesh. Again, it’s a track that is very energy-sensitive and the race will be very tough on energy management. Let’s see how we get on.”

Stoffel Vandoorne kneeling next to the Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow 01
Nyck De Vries getting in his suit before the race

Nyck De Vries.

“I am very much looking forward to getting back to racing. Luckily, we don’t have to wait too long to recover from our past weekend in Mexico. Obviously, that was a disappointing outcome for the whole team, so I hope that we will bounce back this weekend. We’ll continue with the same approach that we have shown since the beginning of the season, taking everything step by step, and hopefully we’ll be adding to our points tally.”

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