The Mahindra Racing ABB FIA Formula E showed great strength in a week of incredible adversity and hardship for the outfit following a fire in their garage during pre-season testing in Valencia this week.
On Tuesday afternoon the team suffered a pretty major setback when they suffered a fire after only one session of on-track running, a fire in the adjacent garage to Mahindra caused collateral damage as a result to the team’s infrastructure.
With the IT and engineering systems – plus both race cars and most of the team’s equipment – requiring attention, the team was forced to move garages. After a stellar effort from the trackside team, Edoardo Mortara’s #48 car was also repaired in time to resume testing with the rest of the field on Thursday afternoon.
The resilience of the team came through as they set the third-fastest time completing 73 laps. Mortara commented saying:
Obviously, it’s not been the easiest week for us as a team, but I would say personally, my feeling with the car was actually quite good.
“It was a feeling I had straightaway in private testing earlier in the winter, and that was confirmed again here in Valencia.
“Now it will be a question of processing the data, trying to find the right direction in order to improve the car. Our engineers have some good ideas about what to do and are working flat out as always.
“Of course, it’s impossible to know where we are relative to the competition at this stage. We still have a little bit of time before Mexico, so this is going to be the crucial phase for us to be ready for next season.”
Stepping into Mortara’s car for his first full day of running in Mahindra’s M9Electro, de Vries banked another 112 laps. That brought the team’s total numbers of laps for the week – including Tuesday morning – to 269 and provided valuable on-track data for the engineering and performance departments.
de Vries commented saying:
“It was good to get back into a rhythm, to get used to Gen3, we went through a very extensive programme, and I felt like we were learning good things and getting more comfortable with the car so it was a positive day.”
The FIA has given the team dispensation to run additional testing, to be confirmed at a later date. Beyond that, Season 10 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will begin in Mexico City, Mexico on 13 January 2024.
Mahindra Racing CEO Frederic Bertrand adds:
“It hasn’t been the week we’d anticipated in Valencia, but as a team, we can leave with a lot of satisfaction.
“A lot has been said about the incident on Tuesday, and our team’s tremendous response, rallying together to ensure we could continue testing with Edo’s car.
“Both he and Nyck have driven extremely well, both yesterday and today, and although we ran with a level of disadvantage against our competitors, with only one car, it was still a valuable exercise to gather useful data.
“We will receive some compensation testing, so now the focus is on debriefing, understanding what we have learned here, and then identifying our next steps to be as best prepared as we can for the first race in Mexico.”