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Formula E: Mahindra scores at home race in front of fantastic crowd

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Last weekend, the first Formula E race in series history took place on Indian soil in Hyderabad.
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.
ZF technology partner Mahindra Racing has been one of the driving forces behind the race in the brand's home country in recent years. The enthusiasm in the financial and IT metropolis of Hyderabad had been palpable for weeks. All 25,000 tickets had already been sold in the run-up to the event - a backdrop that Formula E can rarely muster on its mostly temporary race tracks in city centers.

Formula E: Mahindra scores at home race in front of fantastic crowd

Formula E: Mahindra scores at home race in front of fantastic crowd

Against the backdrop of Hussain Sagar Lake, the race organizers had set up a delightful track for the drivers. Especially the chicane on the long straight and the following tight hairpin promised high voltage for the numerous fans.
In qualifying, the Mahindra drivers unfortunately failed to qualify for the duel stage. In the end, Lucas di Grassi only qualified in 19th place on the grid, while teammate Oliver Rowland at least started the race from 10th place.
After an exciting race, which was marked by several accidents and position battles, Oliver Rowland crossed the finish line in sixth place and thus scored important championship points for Mahindra. Lucas di Grassi finished 14th after a time penalty and unfortunately could not score any points.

Get more insights from the race weekend in the latest episode of the ZF Race Review with Mahindra Racing Performance Director Josef Holden:

Oliver Rowland was satisfied after scoring the first championship points of the season:

"Great to be in India for the team´s home race, and great to be racing here for the first time - it definitely delivered! Huge thanks to all the fans for an amazing reception!"

Eleventh place and the fastest lap of the race: Nico Müller and the Mahindra customer team ABT CUPRA "Powered by ZF" presented themselves in much improved form at the debut of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship in India and narrowly missed scoring their first points since the comeback in this ninth season. Nico Müller and Kelvin van der Linde had already indicated an upward trend in the free practice sessions and qualifying in front of a good 25,000 fans in Hyderabad.

Team boss Thomas Biermaier said:

"We are still nowhere near where we want to be, but we notice that our steps are going in the right direction. Here in India in qualifying we had our first chance to fight for a good grid position. We've got to build on that in South Africa and then we'll soon have the first points to our credit. The whole team is pulling together superbly and the upward trend makes everyone even more eager to perform in Cape Town."

At the E-Motor Show taking place at the same time at the exhibition center in Hyderabad, ZF was represented with a booth where numerous visitors learned about ZF products and solutions in the field of e-mobility.

Even on the day after the race, Formula E once again provided for enthusiastic employees and potential future colleagues at the ZF Tech Center India in Hyderabad: Mahindra driver Lucas di Grassi paid a visit to the development center together with Sascha Ricanek, Managing Director of ZF Race Engineering, and was available to answer interested engineers' questions about the electric racing series and ZF's involvement. The absolute eye-catcher and popular photo motif was Mahindra's new racing vehicle in Season 9, the M9Electro. In total, around 300 students from the state's top 15 universities accepted ZF's invitation to learn more about ZF in India and find out about career opportunities at the ZF Tech Center India.

Suresh KV, President ZF India, draws a very positive conclusion:

“The Formula E race coming to India is a great opportunity for the country to embrace the E-Mobility revolution and see it in action. The street circuit race at Hyderabad was a surefire way of promoting the capabilities of e-vehicles supporting the country’s shift to sustainable mobility. Such events facilitate ZF to demonstrate and showcase the technological edge through our products and solutions and will help us consolidate our position as a strong automotive player.”

The early stages of this Formula E season in particular don't allow drivers, teams and organizers a breather: The fifth round of the season in Cape Town (South Africa) is already on the calendar in two weeks' time. Whether Abt regular Robin Frijns will return to the team after his injury from the season opener or Kelvin van der Linde will contest his home race has not yet been decided. Frijns will train in the simulator in Kempten for the first time again on Wednesday. At the same time, van der Linde is also preparing with the engineers. At the end of the week, the team will decide who will start alongside Nico Müller.