Closed Circuit: Mahindra Racing in Mexico City
Focus | ePrix
- Heidfeld was spun around by a wayward Prost
- Rosenqvist struggled all weekend before crashing out
It was a day of promise for the Mahindra Racing team as both Nick Heidfeld and Felix Rosenqvist lined up in the top ten on the grid, only to have any chance of a double points finish scuppered by a hefty pile up in the stadium section. It was the first time that the team had failed to score points since Punta del Este in season two.
Mahindra Racing had been looking to build upon their early season form and challenge for their maiden victory, with fourth place for Heidfeld in FP2 an encouraging sign.
The German went on to take fourth place on the grid with Rosenqvist in eighth, however it was to end in disaster for both drivers as Renault e.dams driver Nico Prost tipped Heidfeld into a spin,
leaving Rosenqvist with nowhere to go other than into his team-mate.
The collision dropped both Mahindras out of the points and the team down into fifth place in the standings following podiums for Techeetah and DS Virgin Racing.
Team mate comparison: qualifying
- Nick Heidfeld
- Felix Rosenqvist
Team mate comparison: race
- Nick Heidfeld
- Felix Rosenqvist
“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, Team Principal
A day of promise came to nothing for Heidfeld, as a slow pit stop and a crash ended any hopes of scoring a points finish, let alone a podium finish.
The German started fourth on the grid and overtook Jean-Eric Vergne off the line to run inside of the top three for the opening stint. He was then elevated to second following Oliver Turvey’s retirement but fell down the order after serving a longer pit stop than his rivals.
Heidfeld worked his way back into fifth place before contact with Prost resulted in a spin before being collected by Rosenqvist. He dropped out of the top ten, thus registering his second non-scoring round in a row.
Best time in FP1: 1:03.841s (P14)
Best time in FP2: 1:02.562s (P4)
Best time in qualifying: 1:03.022s (P5)
Best time in the race: 1:03.864s (Lap 27)
Pit stop time and difference to minimum pit stop time: 62.569s (+2.569s)
“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.”
It was an uncharacteristically sub-par day for Rosenqvist, who struggled for pace in the early sessions before improving in qualifying en route to tenth place. He was later promoted to eighth following penalties for Daniel Abt and Maro Engel.
Solid, but unspectacular pace in the race saw the Swede challenge for points before being caught out in team-mate Heidfeld and Prost’s accident in the stadium section, where he tagged an innocent Mitch Evans before piling into the sister Mahindra.
Rosenqvist limped back to the pits with three wheels and retired the car, resulting in his first non-scoring round since joining the series.
Best time in FP1: 1:03.706s (P11)
Best time in FP2: 1:03.760s (P19)
Best time in qualifying: 1:03.425s (P9)
Best time in the race: 1:04.021s (Lap 36)
Pit stop time and difference to minimum pit stop time: 61.178s (+1.178s)
“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.”
Topher Smith | e-racing.net
Images courtesy of FIA Formula E Media