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Rosenqvist's star ascends in Marrakesh

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Rosenqvist's star ascends in Marrakesh
By:
Nov 15, 2016, 8:33 AM

Formula E rookie sensation Felix Rosenqvist announced himself as a potential race winner after a starring role in last weekend’s Marrakesh ePrix.

Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing
Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing
Podium: Race winner Sébastien Buemi, Renault e.Dams; second place Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing; third place Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing
Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing
Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing
Podium: Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing and Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing
Start action, Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing leads
Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing
Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing

The Mahindra driver took pole position and lead the majority of the race, but was swamped in the second phase of the Moroccan event - first by Sebastien Buemi and then Sam Bird, who both pitted a lap later.

“We had a good pace and efficiency in the first car, but somehow we were not as strong in the second car and we need to analyse why,” Rosenqvist told Motorsport.com.

“I felt that I didn’t have full re-gen but we have to analyse that carefully and see. The others were so much quicker and there was nothing I could do, but it would have been hard to beat them anyway.”

Rosenqvist’s words came immediately after the race, when he felt his pace in the second car may have been compromised. But subsequent analysis by the team found a small software glitch that affected Rosenqvist in the race.

"The dash issue mentioned during the race was a dashboard software glitch,” said Mahindra’s chief engineer Vinit Patel. “There was no issue with Felix’s energy re-gen, it was just that he couldn’t see the energy numbers until the dash page reset itself at the end of the lap.”

Rosenqvist was happy with his energy management in what was his first clean lights-to-flag race, as his Hong Kong debut was punctuated by an accident in the early stages.

“I thought that being in clean air in the first phase was really nice, and you can build a gap and still manage the coasting ok as you are not fighting anyone," he said. "I had a really good consumption in the early laps.”

The Swedish rookie is focusing on making improvements to challenge for Mahindra’s first-ever Formula E victory next year when the series reconvenes in Argentina.

“We have to sit down and look where we can improve,” he said. “My feeling is that in the first stint we were stronger than Sam [Bird] because he did one lap longer and we pulled away four and a half seconds, but in the second stint we were a second away so we need to look carefully at why for the next races.

“I was actually quite nervous that I would not nail my energy targets here, but they were spot on all race.

"There was never a point I had to ‘panic-coast’ or anything like that. It was all very encouraging and the podium obviously still feels great.”

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