1 April 2017, Mexico City: After a promising start in the early stages, Mahindra Racing had a disappointing end to what was a thrilling race at the 2017 FIA Formula E Mexico City ePrix.

Both cars had everything to play for starting within the top 10 on the grid, with experienced German Nick Heidfeld in fourth and Swede Felix Rosenqvist in eighth.

Heidfeld got away cleanly from the grid and executed a perfect manoeuvre up the inside of competitor Jean-Eric Vergne at the first corner to take third place. A problem for race-leader Oliver Turvey promoted Heidfeld into second place, a position he maintained until the mid-race pit stop. However, in the scheduled swap to his second M3Electro, Heidfeld lost out on several places due to two competitors failing to respect the minimum pit-stop time.

Meanwhile, rookie Rosenqvist picked up two places at the start of the race, but was caught by championship leader Sebastien Buemi. Though initially planning to go a lap longer than the rest of the field, Rosenqvist was forced to pit on the same lap after being held up by the train of cars in front. He re-emerged just behind Heidfeld in eighth place.

The two Mahindra Racing drivers recovered to fifth and sixth, on track for a strong double-points finish, but it wasn’t meant to be.

In the closing stages of the race the team’s hard work was undone by Nico Prost’s contact with Heidfeld that sent him into a spin, facing oncoming traffic. Rosenqvist had nowhere to go, collided with his teammate’s number 23 M3Electro and was forced to retire two laps before the end of the race.

Heidfeld was eventually able to continue, but fell out of the points to finish in 12th position.

Mahindra Racing now returns to Europe for the summer period starting with the Monaco ePrix on Saturday 13 May, where once again the electric street racing of the FIA Formula E Championship promises exciting battles and plenty of points still on offer.

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“The race was going well before the crash. Both M3Electro cars were really good for the race and we were able to follow everyone and use less energy. The race didn’t really pan out in our favour but we were still up there fighting at the front. We were quite unlucky with the safety cars – while we saved a lot of energy it became a flat-out race in the closing stages. There was a lot of chaos with Nico Prost and I couldn’t avoid Nick. I was launched in the air and my race ended there. This was the toughest track for us this year, especially for me in qualifying, but Monaco should be better suited.”

Felix Rosenqvist
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The problems started in the pit stops with the Andretti team not realising the minimum pit stop time. In Formula E, the car in the fast lane has priority and this allowed Sam Bird to jump me. Then, even though I had more pace and more energy, I wasn’t able to overtake. Prost spun me quite hard, and I was stationary in the middle of the circuit. Luckily I was unhurt, but the car was damaged and near un-driveable. But I was able to keep going to finish the race. It’s not what you wish for when you pit in second place and it was just bad luck that the others messed up.”

Nick Heidfeld

“We were having a good race but unfortunately one stone took two birds out. The team had really strong race pace but unfortunately a competitor took us out and we leave Mexico City with a heavy heart and no points to show. The true pace of the car still hasn’t yielded the results it deserves but we are confident of our chances for the rest of the season.”

Dilbagh Gill