Felix Rosenqvist was thrilled to win his second ABB FIA Formula E race in a row this weekend, saying he no longer felt like a rookie in the series.
Rosenqvist started the Marrakesh ePrix from third place, passing Sam Bird and Sébastien Buemi on the way. He survived a scare halfway through when the Mahindra pit crew was scrambling to get his second car ready after a battery problem.
"It feels great to come back here and win the race," Rosenqvist said after the chequered flag in Morocco. "I was praying my second car would be ready.
“My guys told me like one lap before they stopped working on the car. So a really big thanks to the Mahindra boys for putting that together so quickly."
The result was the complete opposite of his fortunes in the same event last year. when he started from pole but was passed by Bird and Buemi in the race..
"I was learning race craft in the beginning and losing here was our biggest lesson of the year," he recalled. "We realised we had a lot of work to do and a lot of things to improve
"I think I finally feel like a settled Formula E driver now - I don't feel like a rookie anymore, which is a real change."
Conversely, former champion Sébastian Buemi was left ruing the elementary error that allowed Rosenqvist to take victory.
"It was not a good move from my side, I could have done much better," the Renault edams driver said. "If I had protected that corner, it would have been more difficult for him to pass. I'm a bit disappointed with that."
Buemi admitted to losing his rhythm because of a malfunction with the FanBoost that should have allowed him to defend.
“Only when I tried to use it and it didn’t work we thought about it," he said. "Because it didn’t I thought ‘Do I block or not? Do I use it at turn 10?’
"I got out of rhythm, I should have closed the door better," he said.
Rosenqvist's win puts him four points ahead of DS Virgin's Sam Bird in the driver standings. Bird was frustrated with gearbox issues during the race.
However reigning Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi, who has yet to score a point in the new season after suffering a powertrain failure in Marrakesh.
"I think I would have had the same pace as Felix in this race," said the NextEV NIO driver. "As a worst-case scenario, a third place would have been easy to achieve, if not a win."