d’Ambrosio regains points lead after Rome recovery [Sponsored]
With Jerome d’Ambrosio a mere one point behind BMW’s Antonio Felix da Costa, and the Mahindra Racing team joint on points at the top with 97, alongside Envision Virgin Racing, the stakes could barely be higher on the streets of Rome last weekend. Both the Drivers’ and Teams’ Championships are delicately balanced for all, so a smooth weekend would prove to be crucial for keeping in the fight.
Much like Mexico City, a disappointing qualifying for d’Ambrosio was soon forgotten about as the Belgian put in yet another stellar recovery drive to bring home what could be valuable points towards his and the team’s respective championship challenges, converting 19th on the grid into an eighth place finish and with it moving back to the top of the standings.
P10 for Pascal Wehrlein added another point to his tally, keeping the team third in the standings 14 points behind current leaders DS Techeetah.
The Mahindra Racing drivers completed 135 laps in total in Rome – the longer Roman streets offering up less laps in the race, with the 29 laps completed in full by both drivers still less than the majority of circuits on the calendar. Wehrlein and d’Ambrosio reeled off 38 and 33 laps respectively in the two practice sessions, while both drivers failed to progress into the Superpole stage and missed out on the opportunity to bank extra laps, a consequence of their Group 1-2 status. Nevertheless, both Wehrlein and d’Ambrosio showed respectable pace around the streets of Rome, with a steady climb up from their lowly grid positions into the lower points reaches aided by the consistently strong pace of the M5Electro.
Laps completed in each session by each driver (d'Ambrosio vs. Wehrlein)
Laps completed (Mahindra Racing vs. DS TECHEETAH*)
*DS TECHEETAH have been selected as the benchmark as they were leading the Teams’ Championship leaving Rome
Both of the Roman weekend’s free practice sessions were an opportunity for Mahindra Racing and their drivers to get their eye in, on a challenging, tight and twisty circuit. d’Ambrosio came in last on the FP1 timesheets, a 45 minute run proving to be anything but smooth, while Wehrlein mustered up a respectable mid-table lap. FP2 would see a shift in fortunes, d’Ambrosio this time leading by a considerable margin over his teammate. Both drivers were hamstrung by their early running in the qualifying groups, with d’Ambrosio ending up last in Group 12 on a 1.31.192, and Wehrlein finishing up fourth in Group 2 on a 1.30.609. During the race, both d’Ambrosio and Wehrlein made use of the first lap carnage to work their way up the order, profiting from mistakes and putting their pace to good use. By the end, and aided by Jean-Eric Vergne’s penalty for overtaking under full-course yellow conditions, the two drivers brought their cars home in 8th and 10th, giving the team a 5-point haul.
Comparison d'Ambrosio vs. Wehrlein
Session best | 1.29.738
Jerome d'Ambrosio | 1.30.463
Pascal Wehrlein | 1.31.903
Session best | 1.29.761
Jerome d'Ambrosio | 1.31.192
Pascal Wehrlein | 1.30.609
Free Practice 2
Session best | 1.29.370
Jerome d'Ambrosio | 1.30.545
Pascal Wehrlein | 1.31.812
Session best | 1.31.016
Jerome d'Ambrosio | 1.32.400
Pascal Wehrlein | 1.32.281
ROME E-PRIX 2018 vs. ROME E-PRIX 2019
Just one year back, Rome proved to be an unhappy hunting ground for the Mahindra Racing team – a retirement for Felix Rosenqvist, and a lowly drive to 16th place for Nick Heidfeld marked a dismal weekend for the team, although the team left Rome last year in the same position they leave this time in the Teams’ Championship – in third place, albeit 49 points behind the leading Techeetah team. A general improvement of 6-7 seconds between the M5Electro and the Gen1-based machine, as well as five points from the weekend, mark a sizeable upturn in form for Mahindra Racing around the streets of Rome, and keep them still firmly in the hunt for both titles.
Difference in fastest lap time