It was a historic day for the Mahindra Racing squad as it took its maiden victory at the Tempelhof Airport at the hands of Swedish racer Felix Rosenqvist, who also registered his maiden triumph.
Starting from P3 on the grid, Rosenqvist made his way into second place off the line and managed to pass Lucas di Grassi for the lead just before the pit stops.
The win was made even sweeter by the fact that team-mate Nick Heidfeld made it a double podium for the Indian squad in third.
Speaking after the race, Rosenqvist said he felt that a win was due soon due to the improvements made by the team.
“It’s a really cool feeling! Starting this year saying we would win a race is a bit unreal I would say, but since building on the pace in Hong Kong I was sure I could win a race this year,” said Formula E’s newest winner.
“From Marrakesh on I’ve just been sure that there would be a victory before the end of the year and I was sure the guys could do it and I could do it. It’s what every guy here wants, to win, and it finally came and it changes every as we are now a race-winning team and there aren’t many race-winning teams in Formula E. Hopefully it’s the start of something greater.”
The result filled the Swede with confidence for a similar result tomorrow, but Rosenqvist remains cautious about the potential of the other teams around him.
“We have the opportunity to have a really good day tomorrow. I’m expecting everyone to catch up and be a bit closer, which means we will have to push harder but if anyone should be up there it should be us.”
Team Principal Dilbagh Gill was clearly emotional following the race, seen in tears on TV as he celebrated the result, something which hasn’t sunk in yet for the Indian.
“I’m a pretty emotive guy and it’s something we have been waiting for, but at the same time I don’t know if the reality has hit us,” said Gill. “I can smell myself from the champagne, so I know something has happened today!”
With the constant progression showed by Mahindra, Gill felt it was the right time for his team to win a race, even going so far as to put his prediction in writing prior to the day.
“To be honest we knew we would win races this year. We felt pretty confident going into Marrakesh as it suited our cars. Coming here, I’m not going to bullshit you, the first thing I wrote on my noticeboard this morning in the garage was ‘Note of the day: we will win’.
“[For tomorrow] let’s not jump ahead of ourselves. We will try to do the best we can tomorrow but looking at the consistency that the team has done and providing we can deliver the same consistency we should be ok tomorrow.”
The result consolidates Mahindra’s third place in the teams’ standings, with the gap to ABT Schaeffler in second down to 15 points, while Rosenqvist jumps up to fourth in the driver table.
Featured image courtesy of Mahindra Racing
Support images courtesy of Rajan Jangda