- Mahindra Racing completes first official pre-season test ahead of third FIA Formula E Championship.
- Drivers Felix Rosenqvist and Nick Heidfeld express satisfaction with performance of M3Electro.
- Mahindra Racing amasses 209 trouble-free laps of 4.003km Donington Park track over three-days.
25 August 2016, Donington: The Mahindra Racing Formula E Team has today completed a successful three-day test at the UK's Donington Park circuit with its drivers Felix Rosenqvist and Nick Heidfeld regularly emerging among the fastest on track.
The first official pre-season test for the 2016-17 FIA Formula E Championship gave the team the opportunity to evaluate its M3Electro against the opposition for the first time. Mahindra Racing already completed almost 2,200km in private testing across multiple locations in Spain during July.
The team added a further 209 laps of Donington this week (860.18km) over six separate timed sessions. Rosenqvist, who has recently joined the Mahindra Racing Formula E team, completed 102 laps with his team-mate Heidfeld reaching 107 laps.
Swedish youngster Rosenqvist wasted no time in getting up to speed in his new Formula E role, establishing himself as one to watch this season. On Wednesday morning, he became the first driver this year to set a sub-90 second lap in a Formula E car at Donington, posting a new track record in the process.
Conditions were hot and dry for the opening two days of the test before more inclement weather allowed for valuable wet weather testing on the final day.
Dilbagh Gill, Team Principal, Mahindra Racing Formula E Team said, "It's been an encouraging and important pre-season test for the team at Donington this week. At this point in time I think it's difficult to tell how meaningful these lap times are because Donington is not a representative track for the championship but we have achieved our targets. Felix has settled into the team really well and has started contributing towards the development of the car very quickly. During this test, we have been focusing on both performance and reliability. Reliability is very important for us. In season two, we were the only team to finish every lap of every race with both cars and this is something we would like to replicate this year."
Felix Rosenqvist Q&A
Felix, what have been your first impressions of the M3Electro?
"First of all the M3Electro has been very reliable and that’s what you're looking for in a test like this. The powertrain seems to be competitive so far compared to the other teams, so I think everyone has done a good job in the offseason even if it's very early days still."
How is the adaptation to the fully-electric M3Electro going?
"In the beginning, of course it feels very different not hearing the engine. But honestly, after a couple of runs in the car I'm already on it, pushing the limits and it feels great. It's a lot more fun than I would ever have imagined."
What lessons have you learned?
"I think when you’re at such a high level of operation, both technically and competition-wise, you play a very important role in the team in terms of developing and giving feedback on the car. As well as making sure we are sharing this information out to everyone in the team in the best possible way. It is about being a team leader and obviously my team-mate Nick is a great teacher when it comes to that with his great experience."
What has impressed or surprised you the most?
"I am very impressed with how big Formula E is, as I haven't been involved with it earlier. It’s a massive operation and a huge task for every team to get this show going around the world. I'm very happy that the organisers had the guts to get the whole thing started when everyone thought it was impossible. When it comes to the Mahindra Racing team I am very impressed with the working spirit among the guys; they work from six in the morning to 11 in the evening during every testing day, and I never hear them complain!"
Nick Heidfeld Q&A
How have the first three days of combined testing been?
"The first three days of combined testing have been quite positive; I am also very happy with what the team achieved before this test here. It's not always easy to judge how we are doing against the competition, because you don't know if they are pushing flat out or trying special setups here for Donington, which is also not a representative circuit for the Formula E Championship. We will have a lot tighter corners and bumps on the street circuits. We have, however, been frequently at the front of the pack this week. Not leading, but it looks okay. We have to wait for the first race at least to know where we stand."
What has been changed in the M3Electro compared to season two’s M2Electro?
"There have been some big changes for season three with the new drivetrain and if I look at the rear end of the M3Electro package it looks very nice. Private testing went well and we did a lot of kilometres."
What areas have you been working on during the first test?
"There's quite a few things we can do during testing, even in the wet weather like today, like electronics and background code. We haven’t done much driving in the wet during the last three years, so it's been interesting to try different things today. However, I prefer dry conditions for testing as it is more representative for the championship and gives more consistent conditions to compare things. During the first day, we spent time checking the setup of the new Formula E steering wheel and working on the new code. On the second day, we focused a little bit on everything and completed some longer runs. Today, it was also the first time we ran the new Michelin tyres in fully wet conditions like this."
Mahindra Racing will conclude its pre-season testing at a second official session at Donington from 5-7 September. The 2016-17 FIA Formula E Championship begins on 9 October in central Hong Kong.
About Mahindra Racing
Mahindra Racing is one of only nine teams - and the only Indian team - to compete in the FIA Formula E Championship. It is also the first and only Indian team to participate in the FIM MotoGPTM World Motorcycle Racing Championship Series since 2011 and the Italian National Motorcycle Racing Championship (CIV) in 2012.
Mahindra Racing entered the second season of Formula E as one of eight manufacturers developing its own electric powertrain to power its quartet of electric racing cars. With this second generation Mahindra Racing car, the M2Electro, the team hoped to build on the success of the inaugural FIA Formula E Championship. Working together with Mahindra Reva - an electric car company whose sole aim is to develop and produce an affordable compact electric car – and service provider Campos Racing, the Mahindra Racing Formula E Team is in good hands.
The M2Electro impressed from the beginning of the season, with Nick Heidfeld scoring our first podium in the opening round in Beijing. Bruno Senna finished second in the first of the two season finale races in London. The car also impressed with its efficiency and reliability, which contributed to seven double points finishes throughout the season.
Mahindra is known for competing in the Moto3TM class of the MotoGPTM World Championship Series as both a team and manufacturer. From 2015, India's first and only MotoGPTM manufacturer will concentrate on strengthening the development program of its successful Mahindra MGP3O Moto3TM racing motorcycle and will no longer run its own team. The decision to concentrate on machine development as a full-scale constructor only strengthens Mahindra's commitment to top-level two-wheeled racing. Mahindra's bold decision to take on the world’s best at the highest level of motorcycle racing has won the team a number of prestigious awards in India.
For further information please visit: www.mahindraracing.com
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