Chasing Victory with a Chicken and Egg Approach: Tech Forecast for the Mexico City E-Prix
Posted on: 12 February, 2019
Three podiums in three races; can we make it four in a row? We left the third round of the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship having consolidated our second position in the Team’s battle. Pascal Wehrlein finished on the podium in only his second race while Formula E veteran Jérôme D’Ambrosio kept his cool in the searing heat, gaining ten positions to take a championship point. For the upcoming race we’re getting ready to swap the scorching sun for the Mexican altitude. Our Engineer Vinit Patel lets us in on his thoughts on reaching dizzy heights in round four.
It's going to be a gripping race!
The Mexico City E-Prix is unique; the track has a very smooth surface that has been designed to offer two different levels of grip by combining the purpose-built Formula E section with the renowned Formula 1 track.
It has two parabolic-style corners which means we’ll be watching the tyres closely. We’ll be asking our drivers for regular feedback to really understand how the car is performing under continuous loading on the left-hand side. We know the track also has longer periods of braking, so the team will need to take this into account when setting up the car for race day.
The Challenge of Attack Mode
Unlike the tracks we've raced at so far, Mexico City has less bumps, which gives us the opportunity to make the M5Electro that bit racier. Depending on driver preferences, we can run the #64 'Falcon' or #94 'Electro McElectroFace' lower to the ground and stiffer. Of course, we can prepare as much as we can before race day, but one thing that remains unknown until a couple of hours before the lights go green is Attack Mode.
We won't know how many Attack Modes we’ll be allowed, its location or how much energy we can deploy in advance, so the best way to describe it is the chicken and egg approach of the race weekend. Once we know the final details, we can then start to build our strategy; analysing how much it will cost us against the overall gain. All the teams receive the information at the same time and that’s what has helped make the races unpredictable this season. Ultimately, the winning combination would be to use Attack Mode with FANBOOST; potentially we'd have a 50kW advantage over the cars around us. That's why it's more important than ever for our passioneers to vote for Jérôme and Pascal!
The future looks electrifying!
Straight after race day, the team will return to the track in Mexico for the third Formula E in-season test. We'll be working with our mathematical geniuses back at base in Banbury (UK) to test a lot of theory and techniques that we'll be developing throughout the season. In that respect, the test day is probably more important than the race itself to grow the team’s performance. Season 5 has been one of the most successful starts in our Formula E history, so we need to keep building on the momentum and driving forward.
All-in-all I think we have a realistic chance of getting our fourth consecutive podium. Jérôme has won at Mexico in the past and Pascal is familiar with the circuit, so it would be great to have both of them representing India on the podium together.
Engineer, Mahindra Racing