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Mahindra Considered Wehrlein Strategy Call Again

Mahindra almost gave another order for Pascal Wehrlein to settle for second in Mexico…

Photo: Formula E

Mahindra Racing considered issuing another conservative race management order to Pascal Wehrlein in the closing stages of the Mexico City E-Prix.

Team principal Dilbagh Gill says that the team was close to making a similar communication to the one used to secure second place in last month’s Santiago E-Prix.

Wehrlein led for all but the last 50 meters of the Mexico City E-Prix after starting the race from his first ever pole position.

But with his usable energy critical throughout the closing stages of the 45 minutes + 1 lap race, Gill says options of at least cementing second position were contemplated.

“When Lucas got through and took Rowland we considered getting a call to him like we did in Santiago,” revealed Gill.

“I said to our chief engineer [Angus Lyon], ‘we can go for a safe second but I don’t want to give up an easy first.’

“But we decided not to get in touch with Pascal on this occasion, he had to go for the win.

“It kept me awake a bit that night if we had made the right decision there and in the end with the penalty we didn’t get second either, so it was tough to take.”

Gill hailed Wehrlein’s performance and suggested that the experience gained in the last two races will stand the German in good stead for future races.

“I think Pascal learnt a lot in the last two races definitely,” said Gill.

“That experience will come back to reward him as he continues to develop, I am sure of that.”

Mahindra Knew Exactly Where Wehrlein Would Slow

The Mahindra team was fully aware that Wehrlein would lose power in his M5Electro as he started the last lap in Mexico City.

The revelation came from Gill who said that the team was aware the battery would run dry of usable energy approximately 100 meters from the finishing line.

The team was hoping that he would have sufficient momentum coming out of the final corner to make it over the finishing line ahead of Lucas di Grassi.

“We knew he was going to ‘ramp down’ about 100 meters before the finish line but we knew he would have momentum to finish the race,” Gill told e-racing365.

“So we knew he would probably get at least second but of course we were hoping for more. It all depended on if he could get to the line with the momentum after he started to ramp down.

“It would have been visible on his steering wheel but I don’t know if he looked at that.”

Drivers get a digital display of how much energy they have remaining on their dash, located on the steering wheel.

Wehrlein would have seen the number counting down as he conducted the last lap and then driven to that number so that it didn’t go below zero before he coasted over the finish line.

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

1 Comment

1 Comment

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    Kris G.

    March 1, 2019 at 6:11 am

    Gill should have gave the order as a second place is better than a 6th one if we think about championship stands. For the driver team orders can be frustrating but in the end they are aiming for titles. Wehrlein is really impressing in his FE debut and if the team nails the strategy he is a potential title contender.

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