They are one of the teams establishing themselves on the Formula E grid and the big electric red is hard to miss. Yes, the Mahindra Racing team has been associated with Formula E since its inception and the team has had its share of success as well. However, although there were bursts of excitement from time to time, the UK-based Indian team were unable to fully capture their potential. Something he plans to change in Season 8 which kicks off this weekend. The team has brought in Oliver Rowland for the coming season as a new driver, who joins Alexander Sims in the paddock. And now Mahindra Racing is aiming for a more consistent and persistent performance in the coming season.
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As the Diriyah E-Prix is scheduled for this weekend, Dilbagh Gill, Team Principal and CEO, spoke to TBEN about the team’s strategy for Season 8. The team has proven itself in the first half of the season and she’s aiming to replicate the same more often on the 16-race schedule.
Gill said: “We’re the only team in the championship that got around four podiums in the first races of the season, so it’s been a good start. We hope to do that again here. Both riders love Riyadh. Sims en got one here earlier at Rowland, he has two pole positions here. I think Rowland got the third most points of any driver at this track, so both are comfortable.”
Although pace was not really an issue with Mahindra, several crashes ruined the team’s chances of securing crucial points throughout the previous season. The team learned and evaluated, however, says Gill. Its goal is to be “consistent and persistent” in Season 8.
Also read: Mahindra Racing has more Formula E podiums than Mercedes
“We have to be consistent to keep delivering at a level where both cars arrive with points. And then persist to go to the next level,” added Gill. “That’s basically the mantra within the team. OK, let’s be consistent and then persistent. So a lot of it comes down to looking at procedural processes trying to figure out why we’re like we can’t bring the two back. cars at home. The reasons for our first-lap incidents? I think they were knocked out five or six times in 15 races last year in the first lap itself.”
As well as working with newer, albeit more experienced pilots, the team has also been working with limited staff as a result of the pandemic. With a smaller team in the paddocks and much of the development part taking place via work-from-home schedules, Gill says the team has been more adaptive than last year in identifying roles and responsibilities.
“We’re very conscious of who needs to be in the office and who needs to be at home. And I think people are very motivated, so you can’t keep them away from the office other than by giving them an instruction Everybody must be healthy and safe to come to the races and perform, but I think the division of labor in terms of data analysis, data analysis, review of reports has been done quite a distance from the office The focus was on simulation and simulator work in the factory, and it’s going pretty well, we now have two simulators that we were able to isolate.
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The team also worked on improving their season 8, which is an evolution of the season 7 machine. “It’s the same cars awarded last year. But since the software is open, our main domain has to do with the control systems, basically it’s rear tire control, because last year too our rear tires overheated, so we worked a lot in terms of different philosophies, both for longitudinal slippage and for side slip tires.
The Season 8 car delivers over 220 kW (295 hp), up from 200 kW (268 hp), which increases to 250 kW (335) in attack mode. The pressure on the tires will then be higher than ever. To counter the same, the team is working with a tire specialist from southern Italy, who has spent a lot of time modeling the tires, which will help fine-tune the final setup of the race car.
Formula E Season 8 certainly promises to be exciting for Mahindra Racing with a stronger and more persistent team aiming to make its mark. The 16-race season will also see Nissan, Jaguar, Mercedes, Venturi, BMW, among other teams, battle it out for the top spot. The season opener will see two back-to-back races in Saudi Arabia and will move to Mexico next month. The season will end with a double-header in Korea in August this year.
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