Mahindra pole position Mahindra pole position

Formula E Season Opener: Pole Position and Podium for Mahindra in Mexico City

Min Reading Time
Mahindra Racing “powered by ZF” started Season 9 of the FIA ABB Formula E Championship in stunning style this weekend as Lucas Di Grassi clinched the first pole position of the Gen3 era and finished third in a fantastic opening race in Mexico City.
Moritz Nöding,
Moritz Nöding spends much of his time at international race tracks. He is working as Press Officer for motorsports at ZF and is in charge of internal and external motorsport communications for the company.
Starting from pole, Lucas held the lead through two safety cars before dropping to second behind eventual winner, Jake Dennis. After a tense battle with Pascal Wehrlein, Lucas slipped to third, but held on to the lead of a five-car train that were right on his tail throughout the latter part of the race. He crossed the line third, grabbing the team’s first podium in 2023 and Lucas’ 40th pole in Formula E history.

Formula E Season Opener: Pole Position and Podium for Mahindra in Mexico City

Formula E Season Opener: Pole Position and Podium for Mahindra in Mexico City

Oliver Rowland had a more difficult race, struggling with the pace of the car and rear tyre degradation in qualifying, making it a mammoth task to even get into the points. He crossed the line P13 in the #8 Mahindra M9Electro.

Speaking after the race, CEO Frederic Bertrand said:
“I think it’s been the dream weekend you could want as a Team Principal starting with a new team. We managed the weekend well so it’s very satisfying getting pole and being on the podium at the end. Ollie also came back into the game after a difficult qualifying, he had good pace towards the end. A mega result for the team but we need to make sure we can do this at the rest of the events. It’s a great achievement for Mahindra Racing but also all the partners who have worked so hard on creating the Gen3 car. ZF has done a great job on the powertrain and Tech Mahindra have supported us in the performance of the car. It’s great to see all our sponsors sharing this result with us.”

After getting his first pole and podium for Mahindra Racing, Lucas Di Grassi said:

“What happened today was like a Mexican miracle. To be on pole and to be on the podium and going home with 18 points after a tough beginning to the season is a testimony to the hard work the team are putting in to make the car the best we can. I gave it my all today to try and make the team proud. I’m very happy to leave here with this result, it feels like a victory to us. But this is just the beginning. We need more consistent results and we have got to work hard for this.”

Commenting on his race, Oliver Rowland said:

“It’s been a pretty tough weekend here in Mexico. I struggled quite a lot in practice and qualifying. We changed a lot for the race, which was a little bit better, but still not perfect. It’s disappointing to not score any points here, but hopefully we can learn from what happened this weekend. Obviously, Lucas did a great job and got some good solid points for the team and hopefully we can move forward in Saudi.”

This result marks a sensational start to Season 9 and the Gen3 era for Mahindra Racing.

The newly formed ABT CUPRA team experienced a tough comeback at the Formula E season opener in Mexico City: while Nico Müller managed a 14th place finish, his teammate Robin Frijns retired right at the start of the race after a collision. The Dutchman suffered a fracture to his hand and had to be treated in hospital. While the result on the track was modest from the German team’s point of view, the unique backdrop including its enthusiastic fans whetted the appetite for the rest of the season.

“The most important thing for us now is that Robin recovers quickly and returns to the team, for which we wish him all the best and a speedy recovery,” says team principal Thomas Biermaier. “From a sporting point of view, it was the expected difficult start to the season in a championship that we know well, but which is starting under completely different circumstances this year. We realize that we have to catch up after a short time of preparation. But those who know us also know that we will continue to give our all to do so."

In all the practice sessions, it was obvious to the team led by Robin Frijns and Nico Müller that the tight testing schedule and short preparation for the comeback will require a catch -up. In qualifying, Müller and Frijns finished 18th and 19th, then Müller made up four places in the race.

“The entire team and also myself learned an enormous amount this weekend – we’ll take that as a positive takeaway,” says Müller. “When we get home, it’s on to data analysis and then into the simulator, because fortunately the next race is only two weeks away.”

The aim for Mahindra is now to continue this run of form into the rest of the season while ABT Cupra will regroup and certainly come back stronger in Saudi Arabia.