Edoardo Mortara believes Mahindra Racing are now entering a “crucial phase” of their preparations for season 10, now that the official pre-season test has been completed.

Given that Mahindra had the weakest package in season nine, it was imperative that the Banbury-based team had a smooth week at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia. Unfortunately, Mahindra’s test couldn’t have been anymore turbulent. To make matters even worse, it wasn’t their fault in the slightest.

Mahindra were massively impacted by the battery fire which unfolded in the WAE (formerly Williams Advanced Engineering) garage, with their race operations equipment and both cars having been damaged. They were forced to move to a new garage as a result.

Miraculously, the Indian manufacturer managed to repair Mortara’s car. The same couldn’t be said for Nyck de Vries’ though. Just getting Mortara’s car ready for last Thursday’s action was an extraordinary effort by Mahindra, who in many ways were the real heroes of pre-season testing.

Not having De Vries’ car available for the last two days meant they didn’t gather anywhere near as much data as their rivals. In fact, Mahindra completed the fewest laps. Given the extraordinary circumstances, the side have been granted additional private testing time to make up for what they lost by not having De Vries’ car available.

Credit: Simon Galloway courtesy of FIA Formula E

De Vries ended up using Mortara’s car on Friday as the Dutchman sat out on Thursday, a far from ideal situation for the two drivers who are new to the team. However, on-track the car looked much improved. It does seem that something has been discovered by Mahindra in their software, as Mortara set the sixth-quickest lap in the test.

The Swiss driver only completed 114 laps which was considerably less than anyone else. This hasn’t impacted him too much though, as he admitted after the test last week that he felt “actually quite good” in the car.

Getting back into the mix is a huge challenge for Mahindra but their pre-season pace suggests it’s more than possible. Mortara noted that the team have “some good ideas” on how to improve the car ahead of Mexico City, in what is now a “crucial phase” of their season 10 preparations.

“Obviously, it’s not been the easiest week for us as a team, but I would say personally, my feeling with the car was actually quite good,” Mortara said. “It was a feeling I had straightaway in private testing earlier in the winter, and that was confirmed again here in Valencia.

“Now it will be a question of processing the data, trying to find the right direction in order to improve the car. Our engineers have some good ideas about what to do and are working flat out as always.

“Of course, it’s impossible to know where we are relative to the competition at this stage. We still have a little bit of time before Mexico, so this is going to be the crucial phase for us to be ready for next season.”

Source:  Read More 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *