Ahead of the first pre-season tests for the 2021-2022 Formula E season, the electric single-seater championship, which kicks off next week in Valencia, Indian team Mahindra Racing is optimistic about a good run after years of struggling.
Mahindra Racing has been part of the series since the first year in 2014-15 and this will be the last season for Gen2 vehicles before the Gen3 vehicle is introduced next year.
The team made good progress in the first few years, finishing third and fourth in the third and fourth seasons, respectively. Since then, over the past two years, it has dropped to ninth place.
Dilbag Gill, head of the Mahindra Racing team, is optimistic about his team’s chances this year.
Gill spoke to Hindu ahead of the launch of Formule E Unplugged, last season’s documentary series similar to F1’s Drive to Survive, which will feature an episode dedicated to the Mahindra team.
“I don’t want to name the second or third number, but I would say that we will be back in the first half of the championship. We’re in the bottom half now, we’re back to the top half, ”Gill said of his goals for this year.
Explaining what was holding the team back, Gill said: “Our weakness was mainly in the tire management and a little in the racing strategy.”
“In qualifying we have always been one of the best teams, we can achieve the best pace on one lap from the car. But we are at the racing pace (it is not enough). We prepared well for the sprint, but not for the marathon. There is a little more strategy for the race, you push a little, you hold back, and we tune in to approach the race pace, ”he added.
No Indian driver
The first year on the team was Karun Chandhok, the second Indian to race in Formula 1, as one of its drivers, but since then no Indian has appeared behind the wheel.
The vacuum of talent
When asked about this, Gill said, “We didn’t have the resources, although we had an intention.
“There was a talent vacuum but some really good drivers are coming soon like Arjun (Maini) and Jehan (Daruwala), although so far they are mostly focused on Formula 1.”
“We had a few conversations and I would say that at some point I don’t want to challenge, but some Indian talent could join the team,” he added.