The Mahindra Formula E team is enjoying a lot of attention these days following a tremendous performance in the last few races. The Mahindra ePrix team achieved 2 podiums this season, one from the last race. But it was not enough for the Indian outfit as the team clinched their first ever win in the Formula E race as Mahindra driver Felix Rosenqvist took home the race at the 2017 Berlin GP.
It was the closest-ever qualifying session in the history of the FIA Formula E Championship, as Mahindra driver Felix Rosenqvist started from third. Lucas di Grassi took the pole position by the closest possible margin, beating Lopez by just 0.001s, while Rosenqvist came third with only 0.083s off pole. The heated battery created a lot of trouble for the ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport driver who lost his lead to the Mahindra driver, who was now trailing the Brazilian.
Felix almost lost it to Grassi after an error during the mandatory car swap, but he eventually took a win after a wait of 28 races for the team. “It feels incredible,” he said. “From the start of the day the car felt good, quick and consistent. I made a small error in Super Pole qualifying, otherwise we could have been on pole. We came here much more prepared [than when I was on pole in Marrakesh] and it’s a great compliment to the team. We have some fantastic people - I was waiting for this and finally it came.”
As for the Mahindra’s second driver Nick Heidfeld, this is the third race in the row that the German came third, this time after Grassi, giving the Mahindra a double podium finish. The current championship-leader Sebastien Buemi suffered a post-race disqualification due to his tyres being under pressure. Lucas di Grassi won 3 bonus points and has now reduced the deficit in the title fight to just 22 points.
Heidfeld said: “This is a really outstanding result for the team considering where we have come from. In the first car, I was struggling but in the second car I started to catch Lucas a little bit. For a while I thought it might be possible [to catch him] but in the end it wasn’t.”
1. Felix Rosenqvist - Mahindra Racing - 53:19.661s
2. Lucas di Grassi - ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport - +2.232s
3. Nick Heidfeld - Mahindra Racing - +4.058s
4. Jose Maria Lopez - DS Virgin Racing - +13.638s
5. Nico Prost - Renault e.dams - +19.068s
6. Daniel Abt - ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport - +19.799s
7. Sam Bird - DS Virgin Racing - +20.065s
8. Jean-Eric Vergne – TECHEETAH - +20.689s
9. Maro Enge - Venturi Formula E - +39.030s
10. Oliver Turvey - NextEV NIO - +40.985s
11. Stephane Sarrazin – TECHEETAH - +42.682s
12. Nelson Piquet Jr - NextEV NIO - +42.980s
13. Jerome D'Ambrosio - Faraday Future Dragon Racing - +45.712s
14. Adam Carroll - Panasonic Jaguar Racing - +49.658s
15. Loic Duval - Faraday Future Dragon Racing - +59.010s
16. Antonio Felix da Costa - Andretti Formula E - +1:00.269s
17. Robin Frijns - Andretti Formula E - +1:02.463s
18. Tom Dillmann - Venturi Formula E - +1:07.695s
19. Mitch Evans - Panasonic Jaguar Racing - DNF (1)
20. Sebastien Buemi - Renault e.dams - DSQ
As we are filing this report, the results of the second race at the 2017 Berlin ePrix has started to flow in. After winning the pole in the qualifying, Felix Rosenqvist failed to grab the lead again, this time finishing second after championship leader Buemi. Grassi finished third behind Felix. Nick Heidfeld, Mahindra’s second driver finished 10th, unable to replicate his success from the earlier race.
Nevertheless, it has been one of the most memorable weekends for the Mahindra Racing, and a great one for Felix. We have embedded a video shared by Atul Kasbekar, ace Indian Photographer, from the Berlin ePrix, where Indian National Anthem was played. A proud moment for Indians.