New Delhi [India]: It was a historic weekend for Indian motorsport as Mahindra Racing won its first ever Formula E race in Berlin on June 10 with a double podium finish. Swede, Felix Rosenqvist took first place while German teammate, Nick Heidfeld came in third. Felix followed this up with a blistering second place finish in Sunday’s race, leading from start to finish, but falling back a place due to a 10 second penalty.
For Mahindra Racing, its improving results position the team as a genuine contender in the highly competitive all-electric championship with its M3Electro racecar. After two days of trophy collecting, Rosenqvist lies third in the Drivers’ Championship with Heidfeld a little further back in fifth. Mahindra Racing has further consolidated its third position in the teams’ standings and lies just 22 points shy of second-placed ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport.
Dilbagh Gill, Team Principal, Mahindra Racing Formula E Team said, “This is a moment of great pride not only for the team but for India as well! It was an amazing feeling to see the tricolor flying high on both days and hearing the Indian national anthem playing in Berlin! Felix did an amazing job both days, his driving was perfect and to put his M3Electro on a pole after winning less than 24 hours before was magnificent to watch. I will always be in awe of Nick as well. His progress through the field from 20th to the points was a master class in wheel-to-wheel racing. Now, as a team, we will look forward to preparing for the final races of the season!”
The two drivers began Saturday’s race from third and fourth positions respectively after an intense Super Pole qualifying shootout. It setup a thrilling race with both Rosenqvist and Heidfeld vying for the win from the outset. By the exit of the first corner, they had taken second and third, holding those positions until just before the optimum pit stop window.
Rosenqvist overtook competitor Lucas di Grassi for the lead at the exact halfway point of the race on lap 22. It was a lead he would not lose, despite di Grassi deploying his extra 100kJ of energy awarded by public vote in the series’ unique FanBoost initiative.
Heidfeld, wearing a special Berlin ePrixSparco race suit created by #DrivenByDesign competition winner Tejas Manek, was able to put pressure on di Grassi in the later stages of the race. Despite not being able to overtake, third place is his third consecutive podium after Monaco and Paris last month.
On day two, Felix led from start to finish at the Tempelhof Airport circuit, however, a ten-second penalty for an unsafe release into the pit lane relegated the #19 racer to second place behind competitor Sebastien Buemi. A superb Super Pole performance saw the Swede take the second Pole Position of his short Formula E career, while a sensor malfunction in qualifying had his teammate Heidfeld start from the exact opposite end of the gird.
But Heidfeld’s progress through the field was unrivaled. Within five laps he had moved up eight positions to P12. Energy conservation and regeneration then came into play, as the race became the longest Formula E race on record and two laps longer than yesterday’s competition. Finishing in tenth provided some consolation with one championship point. (ANI)