Mahindra drivers expecting tyre management issues in Mexico

by Scott Douglas

Both Mahindra Racing drivers have said that they are expecting to deal with tyre issues at the Mexico City ePrix this weekend.

A new layout for this year’s race has seen race organisers ditch the chicane midway through the sweeping Peraltada at the end of the lap.

And with many drivers talking about the increased speeds this will lead to, both Jerome D’Ambrosio and Pascal Wehrlein said that they were expecting it to lead to problems with the front left tyre, which will be under increased load on the revised layout.

Wehrlein said, “I really like the changes to the track; the last corner is particularly fast and long, so that could be a challenge for the front left tyre.

“I think we can finish strongly in the points and, as we’ve seen in the past and this race last year, energy management is crucial.”

But despite the issues many teams had last time in Santiago with managing battery temperatures, D’Ambrosio doesn’t believe that will be an issue in Mexico – even with the altitude of the track meaning that the air is thinner.

“Battery temperature shouldn’t be an issue in Mexico but it will be a different story for tyres,” the Belgian commented. “Because this track is quite hard on tyres, but we are focusing on maximising our race preparation so we can put it all together when we get onto the track.”

“The cars are getting faster and we all agreed the style of the Formula E chicanes contributed to a number of red flag incidents last season.

“By removing the chicane in Mexico we’re increasing the straight-line coasting and that’s a really good tool to promote overtaking in the championship.”

Last year saw heartbreak for Mahindra in Mexico as Wehrlein was overtaken on the last corner of the last lap to lose out on the win to Lucas di Grassi – although he was subsequently handed a post-race penalty for cutting the chicane that will not be in use at this year’s race.

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