Nick Heidfeld scored Mahindra Racing’s first ever Formula E podium, finishing third in a tight battle on the streets of Beijing.
Starting from third on the grid, Heidfeld quickly moved up one position in the first corner and defended against Nico Prost. After the car swaps the German battled with his Renault e.dams competitor for third place. After Prost was forced to retire, Heidfeld was promoted to a podium spot and claimed the trophy after having survived a tight battle with Dragon Racing’s Loïc Duval.
“I want to thank the team for providing me with a car that can achieve a result like this. I can be a demanding driver and as a team we pushed hard to get this result,” Heidfeld said and already though about the next round in Malaysia. “We will build on this achievement, refine the car and I believe the M2Electro can continue to race at the front of the grid.”
He continued: “I had to work hard to defend on the final laps as other cars were putting pressure on me from behind but I’m glad that our race strategy left me with enough energy to keep them behind me right to the chequered flag.” In front of the TV cameras he joked: “This time I didn’t crash in the final lap.”
Bruno Senna started from seventh and struggled from a poor pitstop. The Brazilian took the chequered flag in thirteenth position. “It was a mixed day for me. In practice and qualifying, the car felt good and I felt I could have pushed further and further forward in the race. Ultimately it was the pit stop that put me outside the points,” he analysed.
“I am so happy that Mahindra Racing has its first Formula E podium. As part of the team since the beginning, I know exactly what it means to everyone. We will go to Malaysia knowing we have a fast and reliable car and with a cleaner race, the results will continue to come.”
Dilbagh Gill, Team Principal of Mahindra Racing Formula E Team, added: “I don’t quite have the words to describe what the first podium means to the team and to Mahindra. The performance of both cars in qualifying and Nick’s final result (the fastest team behind Renault) shows that the approach we took to developing the M2Electro powertrain was the right one.
“The car has been reliable and consistent since testing and we now know we also have a package that can compete in both qualifying and race trim. We must congratulate ourselves but we must build on this success in the next race. We could potentially have finished even higher. We have a great car and now we need to aim for consistent race performance.”