31 Jul 20

Mahindra Racing looking to go the distance in Tempelhof 'marathon'

Dilbagh Gill: "The way we need to look at it is that we’re going to be running a marathon in Berlin. The challenge with Berlin is it’s a very specific track that if you don’t get it right in the beginning you’ll be in trouble later on."

Mahindra heads to Berlin Tempelhof with a new driver in the fold, Alex Lynn, and happy memories of the old airfield in mind - the site of the squad's first Formula E victory, at the hands of Felix Rosenqvist in 2017.

Nick Heidfeld made the podium that day for the team, too, and he'll be on hand to support Lynn and Jerome D'Ambrosio in his role as the team's official test and reserve driver for the six-race nine-day half-season, starting August 5.

Highlights: Berlin E-Prix, 2017

A new experience

“This event is going to be one of our biggest challenges," said team principal Dilbagh Gill. "Six races in nine days – nobody has ever done that.

"The way we need to look at it is that we’re going to be running a marathon in Berlin, it’s not a sprint like usual. The challenge with Berlin is it’s a very specific track that if you don’t get it right in the beginning you’ll be in trouble, so we really have to work well to get ourselves ready for it.

"In terms of results, we can only go up – we have not had the best start to the season. Usually we are strong starters and that has been a trend the last few years. We have a good package and we have a good team.

"There’s nothing wrong with the basics, we’ve just not delivered to our potential so far. We’re determined to put that right in Berlin, the venue of our first ever win.”

New boy Lynn is keen to repay the hard work that's been going on behind-the-scenes during lockdown at Mahindra, with the squad leaving no stone unturned as it seeks that progress referenced by its team principal.

"I think you’ve got to prepare knowing it’s going to be intense, there’s no other way around it, said the 26-year-old. "You want to build momentum, start on the right foot.

"These are all things that are easy to say sitting here but difficult to perform because everyone will be aiming to do the same thing.

"Without a doubt, no-one is going to have been sitting still during this period but I’m definitely with a team that is putting in every effort to achieve results.”

Points and the podium?

Likewise, D'Ambrosio's well aware of the challenges ahead, but hopes to running in the top six once again come the moment we go green on Wednesday, with an eye on the podium if the team gets things just right.

"It will be a mental and physical challenge for every member of the team," said the Belgian. "That’s going to make a difference; the guys that can keep up the pace over the days are the guys that are going to do well. 

"Given the circumstances, it’s great that Formula E have put this together and we’re going to be able to finish the season. I want to be back in the top five, fighting regularly for those positions in every race, and look to get some podiums as well.”

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