Amidst two chaotic season-opening races at the Hong Kong ePrix, Mahindra Racing came away with both heartache and victory. Third place on Saturday in the first race, for Nick Heidfeld, and a non-points finish for Felix Rosenqvist (due to a technical infringement) saw a positive, but less than ideal start to the season.
However, Sunday’s race saw Felix Rosenqvist start from pole position, drop to eleventh (with an uncharacteristic half-spin at the first corner) and then brilliantly work his way up to finish second across the line. He then inherited the race win when Daniel Abt’s Audi was excluded from the results due to a technical infringement, which gave Mahindra Racing their first victory of the season. Nick Heidfeld had a difficult second race initially due to being held up by Felix’s first corner incident, and then a software issue that caused him to temporarily stop on track and rejoin the race nearly a lap down. Mahindra Racing is now leading the Team’s Championship by 3 points after the first two races.
Dilbagh Gill, Mahindra team principal
“Although we made a few mistakes and let ourselves down a bit, I’m happy that the team has picked up where we left off last year and that we have been the first team in the short history of Formula E to record a perfect score of pole position, race win and fastest race lap. We could have had even better results from the whole weekend, but for now, we’re happy with the race win, the podium, pole, and fastest lap. I’m confident that we’ve got a product that’s going to be strong and very competitive for the whole season.”
“On Saturday, I had a perfect launch off the line, and a very quick pit stop resulted in a strong podium position, but possibly, it was one of my most disappointing career podiums ever, because I had such a quick car, but Jean Eric-Verge did some solid defending in front of me, and although I pushed to the limit I couldn’t quite make it past him. In the second race, I was unlucky to face a technical issue that required me to stop temporarily on the circuit and reset, and hence not bring any points home. The positive thing to take away is that we have a car that is really good and quick, and we have 12 more races head of us, so we can make them count.”
“We haven’t really had an idea of what our M4 car is like on a street circuit until now, but this weekend really showed that we have the pace to be very competitive. For sure, we made a few mistakes, but we also got a lot of things right. I struggled with my brake balance through the weekend, and I feel we could have been even better, but for now, I’m happy to start the season like this. The pole position, win and fastest lap shows that we can mount a serious challenge this year and that we’re ready to work hard and go for both championship titles.”
2 races ?
44 points ?
2 podiums ?
1 win ?
— MahindraRacing (@MahindraRacing) December 5, 2017