Hong Kong ePrix
Mahindra Racing travels to Hong Kong this weekend for the first race of the 2016-17 FIA Formula E Championship with high hopes following a successful pre-season test programme with its new M3Electro.
The Hong Kong ePrix kicks off Formula E’s third season, which will see Mahindra Racing visit ten different countries for 12 races from October 2016 through to July 2017. A bespoke 1.86km circuit layout, located in the Central Harbourfront, comprises ten corners and, at 555m, the longest straight of any Formula E race to date.
Mahindra Racing will compete in season three with two exciting names at the wheel of the M3Electro cars. The team has welcomed back German driver Nick Heidfeld, who returns for his third season in Formula E and second with Mahindra Racing. His teammate is series newcomer Felix Rosenqvist from Sweden. The 2015 Formula 3 Champion has an enviable record on street circuits, including back-to-back wins at the Macau Grand Prix.
Mahindra Racing has had a positive build-up to its third season, having completed over 4,100km of testing with the new M3Electro. Featuring a completely redesigned Mahindra-developed powertrain, the M3Electro is in a position to build on the team’s success. Each of the team’s four M3Electro cars is lighter with the FIA minimum weight restriction lowered to 880kg, includes a fully-customisable steering wheel with greater data visibility for drivers and also sports a striking new curved front wing. Under the revised sporting regulations, energy regeneration has been increased from 100kW to 150kW.
After 2,200km were covered over 15 private days across Spain in July, the team then completed a total of 478 laps over a further six days at the 4.003km Donington Park circuit. While the championship’s British home is a far cry from the city centre street circuits that make up the 12-race Season 3 calendar, it was still a chance to gain a rough indication of where the team might feature in the Hong Kong ePrix this weekend.
Dilbagh Gill, Team Principal l, Mahindra Racing Formula E Team
“Mahindra Racing is where we wanted to be at the beginning of season three of the FIA Formula E Championship and I think we are going into this season the best prepared we have ever been since the start of the championship. Our rookie driver, Felix, has completely settled in to the team and Nick has contributed massively to our new M3Electro development all the way through. Race one in Hong Kong presents a new circuit and challenge for the team, but we are totally satisfied that our preparations put us in a strong position for the new Formula E season.”
“I feel very well prepared for Hong Kong and the challenge of Formula E’s street circuits. With the M3Electro, it is very interesting for me as a driver because the series is very hands-on and involves a technical element at a completely different level than what any other category can offer. It’s going to be a tough learning curve to adapt to the high-pressure, single-day format street races of Formula E, but a challenge is what I love. Our pre-season testing went well and the M3Electro has been very reliable. The Mahindra Racing-developed powertrain seems to be competitive so far compared to the other teams, but the real test will be to see what we can do during the first race. I’m excited to get started.”
“I am happy with how pre-season testing has gone with the new M3Electro. There have been some big changes with the new Mahindra Racing powertrain. The rear end of the season three package looks very nice and sleek. We completed a lot of kilometres in pre-season testing both in private and then at the combined tests at Donington, but we will have a lot tighter corners and bumps at the races. The street circuits of Formula E are what make this championship very exciting and challenging for a race driver and Hong Kong will be no different. I’m looking forward to getting underway with the new season and hopefully moving Mahindra Racing forward in the championship.”