26 March 2021 – For the Grand Final of the 2021 Formula E: Accelerate series, 24 world-class sim racers took on Rome’s street circuit, just over two weeks before the real-life ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is set to head there for Round 3.

Setting solid times in the third qualifying group, Mahindra racers Olli Pahkala and Lucas Mueller lined up on the grid in P9 and P17 respectively.

As usual, the race start was frenzied, and both drivers lost a few places in the first-lap chaos. Just over 5 minutes in, Pahkala took an early Attack Mode that dropped him into P12, but quickly gained a place back after an impressive move on Stefanko. Meanwhile, Mueller fought his way back through into P20. With 14 minutes to go, Pahkala, who continued a close battle for points positions, took his second Attack Mode, whilst Mueller simultaneously took his first. Unfortunately, with 6 minutes to go, Mueller was forced to exit the race due to damage suffered in the first few laps.

In the latter stages of the event, Pahkala achieved a fastest lap, a notable feat from the midfield. In the end he crossed the line in P13, and later gained a place to P12 after post-race penalties were distributed to his peers. Dragon Penske’s Rasmussen took the race win and the championship title.

Talking about the series, Pahkala said: “I was hoping for more in this series, but the level of competition is nuts in these world championship-level events where full time racers participate. So, considering where I came from, mid-pack level performance was expected. Kudos to Formula E for making this series happen, top job. And congratulations to Frederik, Erhan and Kevin – boss level performance! I’m extremely thankful for getting this opportunity to race again with Mahindra, I can’t thank them enough. Hopefully I can race with the team in the future, for sure it’ll be with better results. Also huge thanks to Lucas, it wasn’t his season but he’s a talented racer and a great team mate. I expect seeing him more on top in the upcoming years!”

Looking back over the championship, Lucas Mueller said: “All in all the series was great. The attack mode and the battery strategy aspects were really fun and unique. For me personally it’s been some really hard weeks, always trying to improve to fight for wins. The biggest weakness was the quali, which unfortunately is the biggest part of Formula E Accelerate. Race-pace wise I was always in the fight for points and more but, unfortunately, I could not demonstrate that. The series itself was a big challenge for me and I know that I can be better and I will be better. Thanks to Olli for being the best teammate ever, and thanks to Dilbagh Gill for the opportunity and having the faith in me to race for Mahindra again. I hope that I will have the chance to be back for Mahindra, to prove what I really can achieve and give them what they deserve.”