12 Nov 19

Mahindra: Indian outfit hunt consistency ahead of title challenge

Mahindra Racing is one of the most popular teams in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, with the Indian manufacturer renowned for their flamboyant style and eye-catching driver line-ups. A lack of consistency has hurt the team's title challenges in past years but the retention of Jerome d’Ambrosio and Pascal Wehrlein ensures they have top-level talent in the cockpit once again this season but will the technical package be good enough to match?

Mahindra is a household name in Formula E, having competed in the all-electric championship since its inception in 2014/15. They announced themselves with a maiden win for Felix Rosenqvist in 2016/17 and the Swede went on to enjoy a late flourish of podiums in an ultimately doomed title charge. Team-mate Nick Heidfeld also got in on the act with five visits to the rostrum that season, helping Mahindra to a creditable third in the Teams’ Championship as they firmly established themselves as front-runners.

The Indian outfit, overseen by popular CEO and Team Principal Dilbagh Gill, built on this success with two more early wins in 2017/18 but reliability issues halted their progress. This pattern was repeated last year when d’Ambrosio started the campaign with a third place in Ad-Diriyah and a win in Marrakesh, only for Mahindra to dramatically lose pace throughout the season. Bucking this trend and finding long-term consistency is a key task for the squad in 2019/20, who are out to prove they can take the fight to the other OEMs.

D’Ambrosio endured a difficult 2018/19, starting the year in style with his third Formula E victory before dramatically falling off the pace. One points finish from the final six races shows the extent of his struggles as the Belgian ended the campaign 11th in the Drivers’ standings. However, d’Ambrosio is vastly experienced – having contested every single Formula E race to date, picking up nine podiums in the process – and has all the tools to bounce back this year.

Pascal Wehrlein teams up with d’Ambrosio once again after an impressive debut season where the German came within inches of sealing his first win in Formula E. After missing the first race due to contractual obligations and retiring from the second in the opening laps, Wehrlein wowed the paddock with a stunning pole position at the Mexico E-Prix. He then put in a scintillating defensive drive, only to be pipped on the line by Lucas Di Grassi when his Mahindra ran out of power.

Wehrlein also topped the times in qualifying for the Paris E-Prix but both Mahindra drivers were penalised for a technical infringement. Still, the youngster-ever DTM champion managed eight points finishes from 12 starts and has the talent to sustain a title challenge – as long as Mahindra can provide the equipment.

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