ProPassioneer Speak: Insights From Pre-Season Testing And Why I’m Excited For Season 5
Posted on: 29 October, 2018
Mahindra Racing is one of the few pioneering teams of Formula E. As the first and only Indian team in the history of Formula E, it has over the last four seasons, grown hand in hand with the series itself, taking home three race wins, six pole positions and fifteen podium finishes along the way.
As most fans already know, Season 5 brings in a new wave of changes – and for Mahindra Racing, this includes the new Gen 2 M5Electro race car. When the first official images of the car were released in January, I couldn’t help but picture it in a traditional red Mahindra Racing livery dancing around corners and setting blistering lap times.
After eagerly waiting for months, I was excited to see Mahindra Racing reveal the all-new M5 Electro right before pre-season testing in Valencia. And I am absolutely in love with it!
Here’s what the Gen2 M5Electro race car looks like – power-packed with extended battery life and swifter than ever before – but also one with safety features in place, like the integrated halo device:
Apart from gifting all of us fans with a picture-perfect race car, the team has also got two of my personal favourite drivers on board – Pascal Wehrlein, a former F1 driver and 2015 DTM Champion, and Jérôme D’Ambrosio, an experienced Formula E driver and a double race winner.
Pre-Season Testing at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit, Valencia
For the uninitiated: The pre-season testing is a platform where the teams come together to individually test and accumulate laps, as well as to assess systems and power of their electric speedsters, before they unleash them to charge ahead and contend on the circuit.
This year, the 11 teams flew in their Gen2 race cars to Valencia, where the two-day testing was split into two sessions each day – morning and afternoon. For Mahindra Racing, while the start was slow with the drivers ranking 6th and 13th on speed, on day 1, they picked up quickly and the testing ended well.
A Splendid Performance by the Drivers
I personally think that the drivers were impressive throughout the testing. The highly promising and determined duo took some time to familiarize themselves with the new car, but eventually went flat out and posted several competitive lap times. Jérôme finished a promising fourth overall clocking a best time of 1m 17.431s and Pascal followed him through in tenth position, timing 1m 17.781s.
A Swifter E-Mobile
The cars are already faster than last season; in pre-season testing for Season 4, the fastest lap time recorded by Mahindra Racing was a lap of 1 minute 18.643 seconds with the old M4 Electro. This time around the all-new M5 Electro, driven by our brilliant Belgian Jérôme D’Ambrosio led to a lap time of 1 minute 17.431 seconds. In the world of motorsport, every millisecond counts and a difference of over a second between Mahindra Racing’s first and second-generation cars is simply jaw-dropping.
Having said that, the lap times are not just the only measure to analyse a team’s performance during the pre-season testing. Teams aim to collect crucial data about their new car through a smooth and reliable test program by completing as many laps as possible. In Valencia, Mahindra Racing did just that, completing a combined total of 304 laps of the Ricardo Tormo Circuit. Such a massive number of laps certainly shows that Mahindra Racing has a strong and reliable foundation in their new powertrain. Now, that makes me more confident about Season 5. And you should be too!
Racing Ahead in Season 5
Having finished as the third fastest manufacturer, Mahindra Racing enjoyed a solid run. The team successfully achieved all its testing goals, including reliability, battery efficiency, ease of driving, driving in wet weather conditions, getting the new drivers familiar to the car, as also the sheer speed of the all-new M5 Electro.
Mahindra Racing is certainly progressing in the right direction and Season 5 can potentially be a record-breaking one for the team.
From both Jérôme’s and Pascal’s performance, I gather that the team is certainly progressing in the right direction and Season 5 can potentially be a record-breaking one for the team. Being backed by the technological prowess of their engineers, combined with the grit, determination and skill of the drivers, and the continuous support from you – the passioneers, I see absolutely no reason why Season 5 shouldn’t be the year for Mahindra Racing.
Add up the incredible racing action, the glamorous street circuits, the magnificent cars and the prospect of the team raising the Indian flag on the top step of the podium. I am optimistic and looking forward to a brilliant season ahead.
When the New Season Begins
Season 5 of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship flags off on the 15th of December in Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. And with a lot of exciting experiences ahead of us – from the nimble new cars, Mahindra Racing’s skilled new drivers, and the intense competition in the series, I am pretty sure that you will fall in love with Formula E and Mahindra Racing’s brand new challenger – the M5 Electro in particular. Will we see the Mahindra bear on the podium this season? All the signs from testing certainly point in that direction. Let’s hope for the best!
Disclaimer: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Mahindra Racing.