There is no hiding the fact that last weekend in Berlin was disappointing for us all in the Mahindra Racing team. It was a very tough weekend.
Compared to last year in Berlin we struggled in various areas and for the team to come away with just a single point was really frustrating.
The last time I finished outside of the points while finishing a race was in the first event of the season at Hong Kong. It never feels good coming away with nothing.
I think that in practice we actually looked reasonably good. We were P2 in the second session with both Nick and I relatively quick.
In qualifying, we didn’t make Super Pole, even though we were in the ballpark. My lap felt OK but as we saw, it was super close. We just couldn’t find those extra few tenths to get us into contention.
In the race I made a big mistake in the first corner. I gambled going around the outside, but I felt like I needed to do that because I wanted to get a good result and be aggressive. I saw an opportunity but it didn’t work out.
Then, I was back in P14 and thought maybe I could get back to gain some decent points, but I just had nothing to give.
I was in clear air all the time but I couldn’t catch the guys in front. I saw they were fighting all the time, so I thought that would make me come back with something in the end.
But it never came to the point where I was actually quicker, I was just losing all the time.
I was matching my [energy] targets. I think it was a set-up related thing rather than purely powertrain. Our Mahindra powertrain has proven to be very good at many tracks this year, so I think it’s a mechanical setup.
At Santiago it was more a mistake on the set-up in qualifying which cost us but here it was almost the other way around.
Since Paris it has been really difficult with these last two weekends. But we believe in ourselves and know that we can come out of this dip and learn from it.
We didn’t have the pace really in qualifying or during the race in Berlin and we will analyse what happened. We had flashes of speed, but not the consistency.
We changed some things on the car, but we really have to look at everything closely and understand what happened.
It’s fair to say it’s going to be difficult now in the championship, almost mathematically impossible in fact, but it won’t change the way we go racing at Mahindra.
Now it’s about trying to find out why we are struggling, solving the problems, and bringing confidence to next season when everything changes with the Gen 2 car.
Catch you next time in Zurich.