It's been a great start to the Formula E 2017/18 season and the action now moves to Marrakech. Officially known as the 2018 ABB FIA Formula E Marrakech E-Prix, the third round will be staged at the Circuit Moulay El Hassan on the January, 13 2018.This will be the first E-Prix held in 2018, and second in Marrakech. But there was a lot of action already at the Hong Kong E-Prix as a problem with the car swap caused the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team the race. The team however, opted to appeal against Daniel Abt's exclusion from the results. The German had taken victory as the chequered flag fell on the Hong Kong double header, only to be told that one of his cars had failed post-race scrutineering due to a motor identification mismatch. The team Principal Allan McNish pursued this but later withdrew the challenge after the team papers weren't in order.
There's a major challenge though as we head in to the Marrakech E-Prix as we'll be witnessing a revision in schedule. The Punta del Este E-Prix is in mid-March is back on the calendar, after the organisers in Sao Paulo requested an additional year to prepare. This is all due to the issues over the ownership of the area of Sao Paulo where the race was set to take place. The Punta del Este in Uruguay were keen to see the series make a return to the Playa Brava Beach, and were duly revealed as the hosts of the sixth round of the season.
There has been a significant revision to the sporting regulations in Marrakech, with the FIA deciding to drop the minimum pitstop time rule with immediate effect. The rule, which had been used since the inaugural FE season, was designed to ensure that a driver had their belts properly done up after the mid-race car swap, although after three seasons most teams were able to get the job done well before the minimum time. As such the FIA opted to drop the rule for the rest of the fourth season, although several drivers such as Sam Bird questioned the move on safety grounds.
As far as the entry list is concerned, there's major news coming from Dragon Racing, who allowed second driver Neel Jani to leave the team after their miserable start to the season in Hong Kong. However, a week before the E-Prix, Dragon revealed that ex-DS Virgin Racing driver Maria Lopez would race for them for the rest of the season, which might also be a sign that DS would join the American team.
As far as the driver's standings are concerned, the post-race fiasco surrounding Abt in Hong Kong saw Sam Bird take the lead of the Formula E Championship, two points ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne. Felix Rosenqvist's inherited victory, combined with fastest lap and pole, left him in third, while Edoardo Mortara was fourth after his debut. Mahindra Racing had moved ahead of DS Virgin Racing in the Teams' Championship.
Marrakech, then, will dive into the racing fever this weekend and if you want to watch it, Sony ESPN will be airing it live for all the race junkies out there. Formula E is proving to be a great testing ground for the next gen electric cars and though there might not be a sound that emits from the track, the adrenaline sure is gushing through everyone on and off the track.