Rosenqvist's 10-Step Guide To Beating Buemi
Autosport|January 18,2018

The Swede turned the tables on Formula E’s top dog, beating the reigning champion and taking the lead in the title chase.

Scott Mitchell ​​​​​​​

Sebastien Buemi has won twice as many formula E races as the next-best driver, yet in Marrakech last weekend he was beaten at his own game. And in getting one over on FE’s most successful driver, Felix Rosenqvist also leapt into the championship lead. The Swedish sensation is at it again in his second season, but even by his standards this was masterful. How did he out-Buemi Buemi? Here’s the 10-step method executed by the man himself.

1. Build a foundation

While Mahindra has not been moulded around Rosenqvist over four seasons like Renault e.dams is to Buemi or Audi Sport Abt is to Lucas di Grassi, he is already well-loved within the growing Indian team.

Mahindra had a dismal first season in Formula E, but out went Carlin as the operating team and in came Campos. Since then, the partnership has flourished. Its 2016-17 powertrain, which included a switch to Magneti Marelli motors, was good enough to win in Rosenqvist’s hands, and this season’s technology is a smart evolution of that.

“There was this fear that Audi would be blowing everyone away, and naturally you become a bit wary,” said Rosenqvist. “Dilbagh [Gill, team principal] was very confident we would have a good team. He was the one believing the most.”

2. Be prepared

Rosenqvist declared that he had never come to a race as prepared as he felt in Morocco. It was the same prophetic confidence that preceded his breakthrough win in Berlin last season.

Though Rosenqvist inherited a victory in Hong Kong, it was a tricky opening weekend. He admitted he was not good enough and struggled with the brakes, so put a lot of work into trying to get himself more comfortable. While the smoother, semi-permanent Marrakech circuit would have been less extreme a challenge, Rosenqvist looked more in control.

Another lesson that Rosenqvist and Mahindra exploited was his defeat to Buemi in Marrakech a year ago. Then, Rosenqvist had started from pole but faded in the second stint as Buemi simply outmanaged and outraced him. They always said later in the season that, if they could go back, the result would be different: this was the time to show it.

3. Don’t panic

Practice did not go well. Rosenqvist was eighth fastest, 0.6 seconds off the Audis of Daniel Abt and di Grassi. Team-mate Nick Heidfeld was only 18th. Instead of tying themselves in knots,

Mahindra got down to business.“I was struggling a lot but we found out how to work the tyres properly,” Rosenqvist said. How to get the most from the Michelins without overusing them over a lap was a key strength last season.

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