Rosenqvist secures Mahindra's maiden Formula E win
P1 for Felix, P3 for Heidfeld -- the perfect start to Berlin double-header for Mahindra Racing
Yesterday, during a live chat on TopGear India's Twitter account, Mahindra Racing's Nick Heidfeld, replying to a reader asking when Mahindra would finally get its first Formula E win, said, "Hopefully very soon -- tune in to the Berlin ePrix to find out!"
That wasn't all optimism -- Heidfeld's statement was based on confidence.
And even though it wasn't Heidfeld who found himself on the top step of the podium, it didn't matter, for Mahindra Racing got its first race win in Formula E through the efforts of Felix Rosenqvist.
Rosenqvist was quick out of the box this weekend. He went third fastest in Practice 1, finished second behind teammate Heidfeld in Practice 2 and started the race from third. He capitalised on a poor start from DS Virgin Racing's second-placed Jose Maria Lopez, and trailed race leader Lucas di Grassi by a little over two seconds. With some patience, he took bits out of that gap over the course of the race, and with the mid-race car swap approaching, took a chance and passed di Grassi, a move that ultimately proved to be decisive.
Try as hard as LdG did, he never could catch up with Rosenqvist. Battling battery temperature issues, di Grassi instead had to focus on not losing second place to Heidfeld, who, by finishing third, made this Mahindra's best Formula E outing ever. From the first of the two races to be held in Berlin, Mahindra secured 40 points -- the highest any team has secured in any round this season, and by doing that, it now trails second-placed Audi Sport by a mere 15 points in the championship. On the drivers' charts, Rosenqvist and Heidfeld find themselves in fourth and fifth places respectively. To make things better, there's another race tomorrow, which Mahindra will definitely be fancying its chances for.
Championship leader Sebastien Buemi, doing well to take fifth place today, still enjoys a healthy 32-point lead at the top, while Renault e.dams is still the top-ranked team.
UPDATE: Sebastien Buemi was later disqualified from the race, as his tyres weren't up to stipulated pressures. As a result, his lead in the championship drops to 22 points.