Mahindra Racing Team Principal, Dilbagh Gill, claims that the team has “unfinished business” in Putrajaya, Malaysia.
Nick Heidfeld was able to snatch Mahindra’s first podium in Formula E at the opening round of the season in Beijing whilst his teammate, Bruno Senna, came home to cross the line in 13th respectively.
“The race in Beijing was a tense and thrilling experience for us, particularly on Nick’s final laps,” said Gill. “We knew we had a strong car and a strong driver but the reality was that the two cars behind stopped one lap later than us and so had more energy at their disposal in their second stint. Nick did a fantastic job to hold them off and to defend third position to the chequered flag.”
Whilst the opening round was fairly smooth overall for Heidfeld, Senna seemingly struggled to keep up with the pace of his teammate and stood in the middle of the field for the majority of the weekend. Overall however, the weekend was good for the team as they finally walked away with a podium position.
“As a company, Mahindra has been working towards that first podium for a long time. We have made no secret of our desire to compete at the front.
The Formula E series is a global showcase for our technology but it is also completely absorbing, exciting, close racing. Getting the team and the car to a point where it can compete for wins is one thing and now we must work hard to stay there.”
In Putrajaya last season, both of Mahindra’s drivers had the opportunity to finish within the Top Five but failed to achieve this despite the circuit apparently suiting their car. The 33 lap race will be demanding on drivers with temperatures expected to reach around 3086° over the course of the weekend.
Gill believes that the circuit will continue to suit this year’s M2Electro, saying: “…I feel we have unfinished business in Putrajaya. Our drivers had an opportunity to finish within the top five and for various reasons we didn’t achieve this. That said, Putrajaya is a circuit that suits us and the location is spectacular.
The race has been moved to an earlier time and we have one less practice session so all teams will have to adapt to this and to the climate but I’m excited to get our four M2Electro cars out of the box and go racing again.”
In an attempt to reach the Top Five and perhaps a podium, Dilbagh Gill has said that the team will look into improving their pit stops during Saturday’s ePrix.
“We are focusing on improving our pit stops and refining how we operate on race day,” admitted Gill. “As a manufacturer in Formula E, our mandate is to develop cutting-edge technology, to race head to head with industry leading OEMs and show the world how exciting the future of mobility can be.
The first glimpse of victory in Beijing was a heady experience and one that we will chase all season. We are learning from the inaugural season and our focus is on the development race.
Some manufacturers showed a performance advantage in pre-season testing but we saw in Beijing that the gap is less than we expected. There is a strong feeling in the team that with a clean weekend we can continue to race at the front of the grid.”