Mahindra Racing are optimistic about Punta Del Este but admit the race will be challenging for them. A positive start to the season has made the team confident it can improve on their finish in Uruguay last year.
“We know we have developed a reliable car and so far we have shown good race pace,” Team Principal Dilbagh Gill said. “Based on last year, this is a race with a high potential for incidents and safety cars so the aim will be to perfect the elements that we are in control of and avoid man-made errors.”
A difficult race for the team last year – with Karun Chandhok’s race compromised by damage to his car and Bruno Senna’s by a grid penalty – ended with Senna scoring his first points for the team. Whilst it might not look like a highlight from the outside, Gill said the race was one of Senna’s strongest performances of the season.
This year, the team are looking to improve on that.
“Last year, I got a penalty before the start of the race so I had to start from the back of the grid and work my way back through the pack,” Senna said. “It was very satisfying to finish in the points but I am aiming to finish much further forward this year.”
A sensible aim, with their strong start to the season. With one podium and points in both races, Mahindra is now third in the teams championship.
However, the team have faced an added challenge when preparing for the last race of the year. Driver Nick Heidfeld is ruled out of the race after an injury in Putrajaya last month, and the team has brought in Formula 3.5 champion Oliver Rowland to replace him.
“It was important to select someone who would be able to get to grips with the technology quickly,” Gill said. “We have selected a young driver but one who already has a vast amount of experience of racing and, more importantly, of winning.”
But, looking at the twenty three year old’s record, the team believes he’ll continue the momentum that has given them such a positive start to the season.
Image courtesy of FIA Formula E Media