Mahindra’s Pascal Wehrlein says his Formula E debut in Marrakesh was “still positive” despite his race ending at Turn 1 after Lucas di Grassi collided with him.
The Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler driver rear-ended Wehrlein into Turn 1, forcing Wehrlein to retire after he suffered suspension damage.
The ex-Formula 1 racer had managed to qualify seventh on the grid and missed super pole by 0.02 seconds, which has given him immediate confidence.
“I’m confident because I’ve seen what I can do already in my first qualifying. Unfortunately I didn’t race a race yet so still the race will be new for me next time but it was still a very positive weekend,” he told FormulaSpy.
“I had a mistake in the last corner, otherwise it would have been super pole. I was really happy. The speed is there.
“The race speed is probably even better than qualifying so the team did a good job. I was feeling good in the car even though I didn’t have a lot of time but it felt easy to drive.
“Apart from my incident that someone couldn’t find his brake pedal the weekend has been good.”
Di Grassi said the chaos at the start of the race, prompted by Jean-Eric Vergne’s collision with polesitter Sam Bird which result in a spin and multiple cars running off the circuit to avoid him, meant he could not avoid an incident.
“The start was crazy. When I arrived at the first corner, I was looking in the mirror and then when I looked forward there was a lot of smoke and confusion,” he told FormulaSpy.
“I crashed into somebody in front of me, somebody crashed into the side, basically I could not see what was going on and there was not time to react.”
Despite software issues shutting his car down twice during first practice, Wehrlein’s debut qualifying performance put him three places ahead of his experienced team-mate Jerome d’Ambrosio, who went on to win the race.
“I missed quite a lot of time in free practice with some issues, I had to stop and start the second session later. So I didn’t do so many laps but still at the end the car felt really good.”