Both Mahindra Racing drivers managed to finish the Formula E Mexico City E-Prix in point scoring position despite each having 40 place grid penalties.
Before shakedown on Friday Mahindra changed components on their gearboxes, changing things twice on each car which meant that they were handed 20 place penalties for each change. The drivers, Jerome d’Ambrosio and Pascal Wehrlein, then faced into race day knowing that they would be starting from the very back and additionally having to serve either a Drive Through Penalty or a 10 Second Stop and Go Penalty depending on how their qualifying went.
The Formula E Sporting Regulations specify certain penalties for the number of grid positions drivers are unable to be demoted by: 1 to 5 places means a 5 Second Time Penalty, 6 to 10 receive a 10 Second Time Penalty, 11 to 20 is a Drive Through while more than 20 places leads to a 10 Second Stop and Go.
Wehrlein’s third place in qualifying meant only had to take the Drive Through while d’Ambrosio’s 14th left him to deal with a Stop and Go. The two lined up on the last row of the grid, d’Ambrosio 23rd and Wehrlein 24th, and both served their extra penalties at the end of the first lap. The Mahindras were brought back into play when Geox Dragon’s Nico Mueller found himself in the wall at turn one bringing out a Safety Car which closed the pack back up.
Once the race returned to green the two worked their way up through the field to take the chequered flag in 10th and 11th. Post-race however saw Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s James Calado, who had finished the race in ninth position, under investigation for overusing energy.
The Stewards duly made their decision and, for using more than the regulated amount of energy, Calado was disqualified from the race changing the Jaguar double points finish to a Mahindra double points finish.
In their post race press release, CEO and Team Principal of Mahindra Racing, Dilbagh Gill said he was encouraged by the pace and reliability of the cars this weekend and is looking forward to the next race in Marrakesh.
“We knew that today was going to be a tough challenge due to the penalties and we knew it was going to be a case of digging deep, not giving up and recovering as best we could,” said Gill.
“The pace was encouraging and to achieve Super Pole again, the only team to have done so in every race in season 6, was good. We’ve shown we are fast and we’re encouraged that we had a reliable performance from both cars all weekend and to finish with both cars in the points after incurring the penalties was good.
“We are heading to possibly our favourite E-Prix next, Marrakesh, which we have won the past two seasons and have many fond memories of. We are determined to move past the niggles we have had at the start of season six and get our campaign back on track.”