DILBAGH GILL: A MONTH ON FROM BERLIN…
It’s been a very busy month since we returned from Berlin!
After the usual de-briefs and reviews of what happened in Berlin and understanding fully how our season ended, we were soon busy completing two tests with the new Season 7 powertrain and a filming day too. I have to say we are cautiously pleased with how things have started with the M7Electro, the car that will compete in the first World Championship year of Formula E.
We’ve also had a couple of people join the company in September. One of them is Josef Holden from Mercedes HPP. He has joined us as Performance Director, which is a new role in the Mahindra Formula E organisation and replaces the post of Chief Engineer. Going forwards, Josef will look after race engineering, simulation, controls and software strategy.
Now, we have a two-headed structure where we have a Technical Director and a Performance Director. The Technical Director looks after next year’s car (season eight). This is what Lewis Butler has been doing since the teams’ inception really, and Josef will look after the performance of the current car and ensure his focus is a big push to maximise that.
It’s a little complicated at the moment testing in various countries because of specific quarantine regulations, so we have to ensure that as we are selecting track locations, we make sure it is not impacting too much on team operations.
But we will have a crash test in Italy over the coming days before more testing takes place in the UK.
The biggest aspect of change for us in the last year has been bringing everything in-house as one whole Mahindra team. We’ve been working on this since summer of 2019 and, it is not just the new headquarters, but it all means we now have no reliance on any outsourced racing team or engineering specialist.
On the other side, from my perspective, I’ve been focusing largely on our partners, and a bit with Formula E and some of other teams to work out where we need to be in preparation for Season 7 of the championship which is scheduled to kick off in January at Santiago.
That is when our relationship with ZF Group will be publicly consummated and so far the relationship is very positive indeed. I think the partnership from ZF’s point of view is giving a different perspective as we have built ourselves around a one team philosophy. In fact, Norbert Odendahl, the Managing Director at ZF Race Engineering GmbH has said to me that this is a template he’s going to try and use in all his relationships going forward because it just seems so productive.
It was clear that before our relationship started ZF found many hard boundaries in terms of information sharing. We share everything because we want it to be a productive relationship in terms of ensuring everyone gets the best product and result and, so far, it seems to be very strong from that perspective.
We also announced that Alexander Sims will be joining us and there is a great deal of excitement about him being part of the team. His first day of work is today and he will be in a car very shortly. He is very hungry and I think we will see a very strong combination with Alexander and the M7Electro.
Although it seems a long time until we go racing again, it will actually be here before we all know it and we are working hard in every area to hit the ground running on our first day back on track.