At the new FIA Formula E Championship’s inaugural race held in Beijing’s Olympic park street circuit yesterday, Mahindra Racing’s Karun Chandhok finished a strong fifth, while team mate Bruno Senna failing to post a qualifying time earlier due to a battery issue, followed by suspension damage on lap one which forced him to retire early.
Chandhok had lined up fourth for the race with Senna at 19th on the grid. Even Mahindra Chairman Anand Mahindra had graced with his presence. Some close racing ensured and eventually ended with a dramatic final lap- leaders Nicholas Prost and Nick Heidfield were out, which elevated Chandhok to sixth at the flag. The Mahindra Racing driver made up an additional position after the race when third placed man Daniel Abt was handed a time penalty for undisclosed issue which dropped him to tenth.
Chandhok reflected, “It was a good race; I was comfortable staying with the leading pack and passed Sam and was catching Daniel but then the battery over heated and I lost a handful of seconds in the final laps which lost me two places. We were quick though, our pace overall has been with the leading pack. There’s lots of positives to be taken away and some lessons learnt too.”
Team mate Senna added, “This is racing, sometimes these things happen. Hopefully we are getting all our bad luck out of the way early. We’ve learnt a lot though and I think we’ll be well prepared for Malaysia. The aim will be to be quickest in practice again, but next time follow it up with pole position and a win. That is what we have to aim for.”
Team Principal Dilbagh Gill concluded, “We have mixed feelings really. It’s fantastic to see Karun take our first points as a team in Formula E, but we know what potential we had for both cars to be right up there challenging for the podium and possibly the win, so it’s frustrating that Bruno encountered so many issues today. Nevertheless we will come back even stronger for Malaysia which is already our focus.”