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GILL: Positives Taken from Wild Weekend in Paris

Dilbagh Gill writes about Mahindra Racing’s experiences in Paris last weekend…

Photo: Formula E

Just when you think Formula E cannot get more unpredictable or more challenging it throws up a weekend like Paris!

It was another rollercoaster of emotions, that’s for sure, and while this is sometimes difficult to take, nevertheless it is why it is the biggest growing championship in global motorsport and why the fans love the drama and the unpredictability so much.

For Mahindra Racing we arrived in the ‘City of Light’ with three pretty tough races behind us at Hong Kong, Sanya and Rome.

We saw some positive shoots of form in Rome and then in Paris that promise came to fruition in qualifying, but it was all too brief.

Firstly, the team has worked phenomenally hard on several key developments at the test track and back at our technical base.

We all know that in Formula E that the majority of the cars are homologated and so cannot be changed or developed.

However, the software, vehicle dynamics and a few other key areas can be. So, we focused on these and really left no stone unturned so we could re-capture our early season form.

Consolidation and improvement of our points scoring ability and to sustain our challenge at the top of the points tables are the primary targets.

Practice was really tricky in Paris as the first session was very cold and wet, but as the day progressed we were pleased with the progress we made.

Then came qualifying where both Pascal and Jerome did exemplary jobs in their groups. While Jerome qualified a fine sixth, Pascal showed his class once again to take the provisional pole position.

Photo: Formula E

He hooked up his Mahindra M5Electro super well and all looked set fair until we were notified there was something wrong from the technical checks standpoint.

It turned out that a faulty pressure calibration tool had set the tire pressures outside of the specified window laid down by Michelin.

These pressures are specific and they are the rules, and while they have caught other teams out before for a variety of reasons, this time it was of our own making and we just had to accept it.

The performance advantage is absolutely tiny in the conditions that we qualified in but still we had to take it on the chin.

There was so little time between the end of Super Pole, getting the penalties and then the start of the race that there was no time to dwell on things, we just had to get on with it and try and salvage something.

The race itself was going to be chaotic anyway even without the weather and the multiple Full Course Yellow and safety car periods.

From the back of the grid we knew that any points would be a bonus but actually because of the chaos we thought that if we were cleaver and stayed out of the carnage then maybe more was possible.

Photo: Formula E

Jerome had a sensational race and went from the back to P10 very quickly. Then sadly the conditions just caught him out like they did for so many others.

Pascal came through to grab a point and while we dropped back a little in the teams’ standings, this season is so close that deficits can be made up in a single race.

Overall I would say that there were an awful lot of benefits and positives to take away from Paris because from a constructive pace point of view we are right there.

Now we head to Monaco which will be a similar challenge to Paris in the sense that it is such a tight and twisty circuit.

At Mahindra Racing we remain positive and optimistic that this can be our best season ever and that we can continue to progress and make all our growing legions of fans the world over super proud.

Dilbagh Gill

Photo: Formula E

Dilbagh Gill is the CEO and team principal of Mahindra Racing, which competes in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

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