- Felix Rosenqvist charges up to finish P5 after starting 12th
- Nick Heidfeld retires early in the race after a system error
17th March, 2018, Punta Del Este: After a year’s hiatus, the ABB FIA Formula E Championship returned to Punta Del Este, Uruguay, with Mahindra Racing lying second in both the Drivers’ and Teams’ championships.
While both Nick and Felix were eager to get going and start racking up their points once again, an unfavourable qualifying session saw Nick crash out during his hot lap, and Felix was only able to get as high as P14 while struggling with some tyre pressure issues. A set of penalties dished out up and down the order eventually dictated that Felix started from P12 and Nick from P17.
The start was clean for both drivers but by lap 2, Nick experienced a technical system error, the car shut down and he was forced to retire.
Felix dropped 2 positions at the start in an effort to keep his nose out of trouble and plan a charge through the pack in the most clean and efficient way. Surely enough, tailed closely by the Jaguar of Mitch Evans, the pair charged up through the pack putting themselves in the top 10 in no time. Another lightning fast pitstop from Felix saw him gain another position on the Nio of Oliver Turvey.
A smart play in the efficiency game through the race took Mitch past Felix as well landing the Virgin of Alex Lynn in between the pair. 2 laps from the finish, Felix overtook the hard-defending Virgin to bring his car home in 5th place.Salvaging the best result possible from today’s race, it’s time to leave Central and South America behind and regroup, recalibrate, re-strategize and plot perfectly to wrestle the lead away from the team and driver at the top.
Mahindra Racing is now still at 2nd position in the Teams’ Championship with 100 points, Felix stays at 2nd in the Drivers’ Championship at 79 points, Nick Heidfeld is now 11th in Drivers’ Championship with 21 points.
Team Principal & CEO Dilbagh Gill, “I’m quite pleased that we’re second in the Drivers’ and Teams’ championships halfway through the season. We’ve got a strong and race-winning car, we’ve had a consistent 3 and a half months, and this bodes well for us in the second half of season 4”
Nick Heidfeld, “I was on track for a little but more than one lap; On lap 2 after the first chicane I suddenly had no power, and I had to abort the race”
Felix Rosenqvist, “It was a tough, but fun race. Average start, I kept myself out of trouble. From initially not being too quick, we improved across the race and got really fast. Great pitstop, second stint was really good, Mitch was behind me and we were really quick though the field. My lap beacon fell off, so I didn’t know how much energy to save or use during a lap so my lap indications were wrong and I was a bit lost. We did manage to recover in the end because we had a lot more energy. It was a potential podium, and we finished P5; but I’m still confident of the strong and quick car that we have.”
The next E-Prix takes place on April 14th, 2018 in Rome, Italy. The first Rome E-prix and the start of the European leg are a very next step for Mahindra Racing. Heads and morale are high, and there is no doubt that the team are feeling strong and clear about overcoming any issues and shooting for the top.
Mahindra Racing statistics for the 2017-18 FIA Formula E Season
- 2 wins
- 3 podiums
- 2 Julius Bär Pole Position
- 1 VISA Fastest Lap Awards
- 5 Super Pole appearances
- 100 points