MAHINDRA RACING ANNOUNCES ALL-NEW DRIVER LINE-UP FOR 2018/19 ABB FIA FORMULA E CHAMPIONSHIP AND REVEALS M5ELECTRO LIVERY
• Pascal Wehrlein, former F1 driver and 2015 DTM Champion, and Jérôme D’Ambrosio, highly experienced double Formula E race winner, join Mahindra Racing
• Nick Heidfeld takes up new special advisory role and position as Official Test and Reserve Driver
• Sam Dejonghe continues role as Simulator and Development Driver
• Livery revealed for the M5Electro
16 OCTOBER 2018 – VALENCIA – Mahindra Racing is delighted to reveal its new driver line-up for the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Season; a mix of proven pedigree, experience and exciting new talent. Former Formula One driver and 2015 DTM Champion Pascal Wehrlein joins Mahindra Racing as he makes his Formula E debut. His team-mate will be highly experienced Formula E regular and double race-winner Jérôme D’Ambrosio, who is welcomed to the team for the coming season.
Wehrlein holds the record for being the youngest competitor in DTM, the youngest to win a DTM race and in 2015 became the youngest to win the title at the age of just 20. Before this, his single-seater prowess shone through as he took honours as 2011 ADAC Formula Masters Champion, F3 European Championship Top Rookie and Formula 3 Euro Series Vice-Champion. In 2014, he became development and simulator driver for the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team and, following his DTM success, Wehrlein competed in two full seasons of Formula One, contesting for Manor Racing and Sauber F1 Team. Now, at the age of 23, the German-Mauritian driver makes the move to all-electric single seaters with race-winning team Mahindra Racing.
Highly experienced Belgian Jérôme D’Ambrosio joins Mahindra Racing for Season 5 after four seasons with Dragon Racing, which saw him compete in every one of Formula E’s 45-race history and achieve two race wins, seven podiums and two pole positions. The 32-year-old brings with him a plethora of experience to the Indian outfit, including at Formula 1 level where he had 20 race starts and was a part of the Renault F1 Driver Development Programme. He has had a long, varied and successful career, with accolades ranging from Belgian Formula Renault Champion and International Formula Master Champion to Vice-Champion of the GP2 Asia Series. D’Ambrosio has proven himself a fierce and steadfast competitor in Formula E, with his highest championship finish coming in the 2014/15 season where he placed fourth. He has already completed a number of private tests with the Mahindra Racing Gen2 car and will make his first public outing for the squad at the all-teams Valencia test in October.
Nick Heidfeld will continue with the Mahindra Racing family in a new advisory role and in the position of Official Test and Reserve Driver. Nick has been with Mahindra Racing for three seasons after competing in the inaugural Formula E season for Venturi GP. In his four-year Formula E career to date, he has scored eight podium finishes, seven of which were with Mahindra. His new role, which sees him remain an integral part of the team, will see him in attendance at various races. Finally, Belgian racer Sam Dejonghe will continue the role he began in November 2017 as Simulator and Development Driver for the team. He has worked closely with the engineering team since his appointment on race simulator and test car development and drove the Mahindra Racing Gen2 car last month at CarFest for the UK’s first demonstration run of a Season 5 Formula E car.
Mahindra Racing also today unveils its new livery for the M5Electro; the new Generation 2 Formula E car. The new livery has been unveiled in Valencia ahead of this week’s all-teams test. The design sees an evolution of the team’s iconic and unique red, white and blue colour scheme, updated and created to reflect the exhilarating new design of the Gen2 car. The team also unveils a new team kit ahead of the 2018/19 season, which draws inspiration from iconic Indian symbols; the Bengal tiger and Lotus flower.
Mahindra Racing is one of ten founding teams – and the only Indian team – to compete in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the world’s first all-electric racing series. Mahindra Racing has an impressive stats sheet; after scoring its breakthrough win at the Berlin E-Prix in 2017, the squad now has three race victories to its name in addition to 15 podiums, six pole positions and 516 points from 45 starts. After four seasons with the first-generation race car, all eyes now turn to Season 5. Mahindra Racing has high ambitions with the Gen2 M5Electro, a technical innovation that will see the car last the duration of a race as Formula E continues to push the limits of technology and electrification.
Wehrlein and D’Ambrosio will be publicly testing the Mahindra Racing Gen2 car at the all-teams test from 16–19 October at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain. The first race of the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship will take place at Ad Diryiah, Saudi Arabia, on 15th December.
“I’m super excited to join Mahindra Racing. I’ve known some people in the team for more than ten years and haven’t managed to work together with them yet and now we are going to have that opportunity, which is a great prospect. I think we have a great team and a really dedicated bunch of people with the possibility of doing something great so I am really motivated to make sure that we achieve the results that the team deserves. I’ve known Dilbagh for the last four years and what the team has achieved in that time is amazing and has shown great progression and I want to make sure that continues.”
“I’m very happy to be joining Mahindra Racing. I had the first meeting with Dilbagh in the summer and met the team for the first time at a test event. It’s a small team but with really high ambitions and I have the same high ambitions. I want to achieve the best possible results and I have a feeling the team is the right environment for me. I’m looking forward to the season and I will give my best.”
“I’m excited to enter a new chapter of my career by agreeing a multi-year agreement to become a special advisor to Mahindra Racing. At the same time I will be reserve and test driver and will attend Formula E races. Having been part of the successful growth of the team for three years now, and experiencing such motivated and qualified people in the team, it is a natural transition to further assist the team based on my motorsport experience. I am not ending my race driving career but I am happy that this new role offers me a diverse future, which fits together perfectly with my position as vehicle development consultant and ambassador for Automobili Pininfarina.”
“I am truly thrilled to be able to announce what I believe is one of the most exciting and dynamic driver line-ups on the grid, packed full of talent. We are delighted that Pascal will join the team as he begins a new racing challenge in Formula E. As a young and enthusiastic yet incredibly experienced driver, he is a valuable addition to the team. Having Jérôme join Mahindra Racing with his years of experience and multiple wins in this championship is something we are also extremely excited about. He is very motivated to bring success to Mahindra and has already been working hard behind the scenes preparing for the season.
Finally, we could not be happier that Nick remains within the Mahindra family. His contribution to the team has been immeasurable. He was fully committed from day one and his new role will ensure he continues his valuable input. Last season we had a very strong start and were in championship contention. To attract and retain drivers of this calibre shows Mahindra Racing’s future potential and intention and I cannot wait to get out on track in Saudi Arabia to begin our 2018/19 campaign.”