Formula E

Lack of confidence, reliability cost Rosenqvist Formula E title shot

Mahindra Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist has put his faltered Formula E title challenge down to a lack of confidence and car reliability.

Rosenqvist won two of the first three races, the first coming despite spinning at the first corner of the race and dropping to the rear of the field, giving him the early championship lead.

He retired from two races in Mexico City and Rome while leading. The former was caused by a battery management system error which shut his car down, the latter by a suspension failure.

Only two points finishes in the final five races cemented a disappointing end to his season, having spun at the start of the race in Berlin and crashed in Zurich while battling eventual champion Jean-Eric Vergne.

“I think it’s mainly confidence. For example in Rome from FP1 I knew that I would be fighting for a win, I just felt so good in the car. In qualifying it was like my pulse wasn’t even up when I did my lap and we had pole by six tenths,” Rosenqvist told Formula Spy in New York.

“Compare that to a track like Berlin where I had no confidence and didn’t know how to drive the car to be quick and I couldn’t lean on the car, that’s the difference.

“At the end of the day these cars are more or less as quick but it’s just about having the confidence to push, because you’ve gone beyond the point where you can play a safe game and get good points.”

Rosenqvist referred to the tightness of the field as one of the reasons behind his harder races, as a loss of performance had a bigger impact on his results.

“You’re fighting for a win or you’re P10, there’s nothing between. It’s such a thin line between having a mega weekend and a bad one.

“In the beginning often we were over that line and fighting for wins and at some point we started being in the mid-pack, and in the mid-pack you can be P13 or P5.

“There’s no difference when everyone’s doing the same lap time in quali and the race, it’s very even so you need to be aggressive and go for it.

“Sometimes I was doing really good laps this year and it hasn’t gone to super pole even, whereas last year I felt like I had something in the bag and I could still make it to super pole.

“You cannot really be safe anymore in qualifying. You have to go for it because there will always be five guys who do and make the lap, so if you go for the safe approach you will always be in the middle somewhere.”

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Chris Stevens

Chris is a member of the Autosport Academy and has been writing about motorsport professionally since 2015. He has been one of the top Formula E journalists since he went to Donington Park for pre-season testing a week after picking up his A-Level results.

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