Mahindra team boss Dilbagh Gill told ElectricAutosport.com that he believes his side can expect a “one to two second” improvement on last year’s car when the second Formula E season gets underway in Beijing.
The team have enjoyed a successful pre-season testing programme at Donington Park, placing the majority of its focus on solving reliability issues which plagued the car during season one. Dill says that the aim is to improve in a number of areas in order to beat last season’s eighth-place finish.
“We are happy with our testing programme. We’ve had no worries, we’ve been relaxed and we have a plan in mind. The car is a lot more efficient than last year, it seems to be running on a similar level of power, but the efficiency of the drivetrain has helped us get more. I think we have understood this car a lot more, so in terms of Beijing and the first race you will see times and car set up change, we expect to see a one to two second improvement.
“We are definitely looking to improve on reliability to get consistent results, because last year we were very inconsistent, at times we were fast and then we were spectacular in our failures. That’s what we want to eradicate in order to get good points.”
Gill also praised the early contribution from new driver Nick Heidfeld, who made the switch from Venturi to the Indian outfit ahead of pre-season. Gill says he has been impressed with how quickly the ex-F1 driver has settled into his new team.
“We’ve done 15 days of manufacture testing which has worked well and Nick [Heidfeld] has worked very hard during it. We have already seen that the contribution that he brings to the team is just amazing.”
Bruno Senna agrees that his new team-mate will help move the team forward this season and says that Mahindra are focused on improving upon last season with its all new Mahindra M2ELECTRO, which the Brazilian calls an “evolution”.
“I’ve known Nick for a while now, he’s a very technical guy, very good at helping with the new ideas. We’ve been working really hard and he’s given some really good feedback to the team so I think that we have gone forward in our setup.
“With this year’s car we have one gear less, but overall the car is similar to last year’s car. From our side it’s an evolution from last year, so we have been running reliably and the car has run well. It’s been a good difference in set up with the car in terms of feel and this is working well for us.
“I think the main part from my perspective is extracting the most from this car. Of course the aim is to improve on last season, we had a difficult season and definitely not the results that I was expecting. It’s a tough sport, everybody is pushing hard and the competition is strong, so you have to do your best otherwise you won’t achieve it.”
Photos by Nat Twiss.