It was a race of mixed emotions at the Putrajaya ePrix with both Mahindra Drivers losing out on potential top four positions, with Indian racer Karun Chandhok crossing the line in sixth and Bruno Senna crashing out of fourth place with just a few corners remaining.
The Mahindra Racing men showed pace in qualifying earlier in the day, with both drivers feeling there was more to come from the car.
In the end, Chandhok lined up in fifth place on the grid with Senna eighth. The Brazilian did however have an added boost, having been confirmed as one of three drivers awarded the FanBoost, giving him two bursts of extra power during the race.
At the start, Chandhok made the most of a struggling Audi Sport ABT Daniel Abt to make his way into fourth place while Senna also made up a place passing Abt, with the German unable to make a strong start.
Two separate incidents on the opening lap created the need for the safety car as a frantic race start saw problems for other Renault-Sparks.
At the restart both Mahindra Racing cars remained in strong place with Chandhok holding onto fourth, before making his way into third place.
Then heading into the pits for a change, a delay in the pits lost Chandhok several seconds, putting the Indian racer back out on track in tenth place. Senna meanwhile had also swapped to his second Mahindra car, and was ninth.
“Unfortunately the pit stop didn’t go too well for us,” said Chandhok. “One of our regular mechanics was taken to hospital yesterday so we’re a man down so it wasn’t quite a slick as normal. If we look at where the time we lost would have put us, I think we would have been easily on the podium.”
Senna found pace to move through the field and made up several positions due to overtakes and drive through penalties for other drivers.
Using his Fan Boost, Senna put a great move on e.dams-Renault’s Nicholas Prost to take fourth place. Chandhok was also making progress, up to seventh place after passing Daniel Abt.
With the final lap underway Senna was following third placed man e.dams-Renault’s Sebastien Buemi closely and when Buemi looked to make a small mistake, Senna look set for a podium.
Sizing himself up for a last minute move around the final few corners, Senna unfortunately locked the rears and made heavy impact with the barriers. Chandhok meanwhile had done well to recover to sixth place.
“I’m driving well and we have a good car so we need to make sure everything comes together in Uruguay.”
Senna on the other hand, could only be disappointed as his late incident ended his chance for his first points of the season.
“Of course, I’m extremely disappointed with what happened,” said Senna. “Once again we were very quick in the car but again no points, this time it was my fault. We have another race in three weeks’ time so we’ll aim to get the positions we deserve and know we are capable of.”