Mahindra Racing driver Nick Heidfeld was left disappointed after the London ePrix as a penalty for over-usage of energy cost him a podium place.
The German was hunting down Jean-Eric Vergne for third, who had slowed as he had gone over his energy allowance.
Heidfeld was told by the team that he was fine for energy, only to go over it marginally in the last couple of hundred yards as he attempted to move past Vergne. This meant that he also incurred a time penalty that demoted him to eighth place.
Speaking after the race he said, “I was told to go flat out because we were fine on energy. The problem was when I was on the finish straight I was checking to see if he would lift as I thought I would maybe crash into him, so I quickly looked down at my power but I couldn’t see it, and then I just focused on him to see if he would lift.”
“So I just stayed flat and went marginally over on power. It happens, but we could have done a better job, which is really frustrating.”
Looking ahead to next season Heidfeld was confident that his Mahindra team could make a ‘big step’ to catch up with the frontrunners.
He commented, “I assume that we’ll make a big step forward. Speaking to a lot of guys within Formula E, I think there is a belief that things will be closer together again.”
“Next year, I think a lot of other teams will be able to make this big step. I think people tend to forget that these teams have learnt something this year – at least we should be closer to the front, with hopefully more possibilities for podiums and maybe wins as well.”
Heidfeld is still to be confirmed at the Indian team for next season, but he reiterated that he expects to still be in Formula E, and that he is enjoying driving in the series.
“Nothing is signed, but I’m sure I’ll be in Formula E next year,” he said. “I like it a lot. Obviously it was a disappointing race today but for the championship and the fun you have at the races, all the circuits and cities we’ve visited – its outstanding.”