Victory in Morocco has seen Renault-e.dams and its Swiss star Sébastien Buemi open up a handsome early lead in the 2016/2017 FIA Formula E Championship. Saturday’s ePrix in the streets of Marrakech served as an eloquent and spectacular shop window for electric mobility.
The first visible sign we saw that COP22 was in town was the impressive fleet of electric vehicles waiting outside Marrakech’s airport to whisk participants to the United Nations conference. Not far from there, on Jemaa el Fna Square, close to the famous souk, the traditional snake charmers were busy mystifying visitors from around the world.
Thanks to features such as their competitive, versatile, energy-efficient Michelin Pilot Sport EV2 tyres, as well the solar-powered and glycol-fuelled systems they use to charge their batteries, the all-electric Formula E single-seaters are technological laboratories designed to play a part in combatting global warming. That is why the Formula E Championship had such a key role to play at this year’s climate change summit.
The day before the race, 16-year old Moroccan driver Michael Benyahia was invited to drive a Renault SPARK SRT_01E/MICHELIN along avenue Hassan II to the COP22 conference centre.
The championship organisers also took advantage of the event to show the United Nations delegation a documentary about global warming and try to establish a new record with the presence around Moulay El Hassan Circuit of 50,581 postcards from children explaining how they are reducing their carbon footprint.
The track, which also hosts a round of the FIA Word Touring Car Championship, set another record on race day when Swede Félix Rosenqvist (Mahindra) posted the fastest lap, outpacing the best times clocked by the WTCC fraternity.
The race was attended by numerous personalities from the world of politics who saw Switzerland’s Sébastien Buemi take the day’s win to extend his lead in the championship.