Mahindra Racing heads to the Buenos Aires ePrix for the third round of the 2016-17 FIA Formula E Championship with high aspirations following its best-ever start to the season back the latter half of 2016.
By netting two podiums, a pole position and fastest lap award from the first two events, the team’s four electric M3Electro racecars have already demonstrated race-winning potential. These results are underscored by Mahindra Racing’s joint second place in the Teams’ Championship standings.
With a podium apiece, drivers Nick Heidfeld and Felix Rosenqvist both have the pace to stand on any step of the podium on Saturday afternoon. One of Formula E’s most experienced drivers, Heidfeld returns to Buenos Aires for the third time, while Rosenqvist will start just his third Formula E race and is tipped to be one of the fastest rookies in the field.
What’s been happening all this time?
Since the chequered flag fell in Marrakesh nearly three months ago, Mahindra Racing has focused on improvements to its already-competitive M3Electro within the in-season open development window including software, systems and behind-the-scenes tools such as a new driver-in-the-loop simulator.
Speaking of simulators, Mahindra celebrated a double podium in the virtual world with the special Vegas eRace that took place on 8 January at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Up against 10 pro sim racers and 20 Formula E competitors, it was Rosenqvist who spearheaded the driver contingent to fly home with $100,000 for second place ahead of allocated Mahindra sim teammate Olli Pahkala.
Hottest of hot in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires provides Mahindra Racing with the most opportunity to do its homework. In 2015, the team finished fifth and last year both cars crossed the line in the top ten, each outing providing masses of data and lessons to refer to. The 2.480km street circuit is a textbook city centre venue with the added thermal battery management challenge of high summer temperatures often over 35 degrees Celsius.
Dilbagh Gill, Team Principal, Mahindra Racing Formula E Team
“We are travelling to Buenos Aires feeling confident following a busy mid-season break for Mahindra Racing. This time has allowed us to reflect on the first two races of the season and put in place the tools to help take our team to the front of the grid. Based on the combined experience of Nick and the team of the Puerto Madero circuit from the past two seasons, and Felix’s ability to hit the ground running, we are in a strong position to consolidate our second position in the Teams’ Championship and a good double points finish is what we would like to take away.”
“I am excited to go back to race in Buenos Aires for the third time, especially with the package Mahindra Racing has this season. We know that we can be up the front already from the first two races with my podium in Hong Kong and Felix’s performance in Marrakesh. The team has worked hard during the break and I hope this will give us another step forward. We shall be even better prepared to bring everything together for a good result in Buenos Aires.”
“Since many of the other drivers have raced in Buenos Aires before, we have worked really hard to make sure I can be as prepared as possible before we arrive in Argentina. I’m looking forward to getting back into the M3Electro cars and feeling refreshed and confident after a well-needed break. Everyone in the team has contributed to making the most of the time since Marrakesh and we are ready to bring everything together strongly.”