Mahindra Racing will get its 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship campaign underway next weekend as Jérôme D’Ambrosio and Felix Rosenqvist take to the track for the SAUDIA Ad Diriyah E-Prix, which takes place on Saturday 15 December in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The opening race is a brand new venue for Formula E and the championship’s first visit to the Middle East. The E-Prix will take place on a newly designed 21-turn, 2.495km street circuit snaking around the UNESCO heritage site on the outskirts of Riyadh. Ad Diriyah was the Kingdom’s first capital in 1744 and will now be the location for the historic moment of all-electric street racing taking place in Saudi Arabia for the first time and the race debut of the Gen2 Formula E cars. New for Season 5, the next generation cars will last the duration of the race – 45 minutes + 1 lap – rather than needing to swap cars at the midway point.

Lining up in the two M5Electro’s for their inaugural race run will be Jérôme D’Ambrosio and Felix Rosenqvist. With the Belgian and Swede in Mahindra Racing colours, the team begins the season fielding two drivers who have five race wins between them and a combined experience of seven Formula E seasons.

“We’re looking forward to kickstarting our fifth consecutive season in the ABB FIA Formula E championship. It’s been five months since the Season 4 finale, so there’s a lot of excitement within the Mahindra Racing family as we get ready to watch the new M5Electro make its race debut at the SAUDIA Ad Diriyah E-Prix. The opening race is the first time the new Gen2 Formula E cars will go head-to-head in the new race format. We’re feeling positive and motivated and have high expectations for the race ahead with two experienced Formula E race winning drivers. The team is all working towards one common goal and that’s to finish in the best possible position at every race.”

Dilbagh Gill

“We have a good car with the potential to fight at the front and that should be the goal – nothing less. We have to start the season in the best possible way and take every opportunity that comes our way. I believe we’re approaching Riyadh in a good position. The SAUDIA Ad Diriyah track looks quite interesting and I’m surprised with the layout. The backflow section will be quite interesting to drive and watch how it will play out for the race. Having said that, it’s the same for everyone and I think qualifying will be very important and I’m really looking forward to racing there.”

Jérôme D'Ambrosio

“You never really know when a new season starts where you will end up in qualifying but the team is extremely positive from the feedback at the pre-season test in Valencia. Certainly, if the pace is there, then we want to be in front as always. The SAUDIA Ad Diryah track looks really cool. It has two completely different parts to it; one half is super twisty, and the other half is straight with some basic corners. I think the first section with all the turns is going to be really tricky and it looks like one of the most challenging tracks we’ve seen in Formula E, especially with the increased speed of the new Generation 2 cars. Obviously, it’s a bit different heading into the first race knowing I’m not going to race for the whole season but I’m glad to be back and I’m going to do my best to achieve the best result for the team.”

Felix Rosenqvist
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