It was a great day for Mahindra and indeed the entire nation, as the Indian national anthem played during the podium ceremony at the Formula E this weekend. A weekend that saw Mahindra take their first ever victory in the sport.
Mahindra Racing were making all the right moves in the Formula E Grand Prix, as the third season evolves. Ultimately taking their first overall victory this weekend with Felix Rosenqvist in the driver's seat. Having won the first two ePrix races on Saturday, moving up from a third position on start to taking his first ever win, passing Jose Maria Lopez in his DS Virgin Racing e-racer and Lucas di Grassi of Schaeffler Audi.
The weekend did not go so well for the championship leader Sebastian Buemi of Renault eDams who was disqualified due to a tyre pressure regulation violation despite crossing the chequered flag in fifth place.
Rosenqvist who had started the race in a respectable third place, took the opportunity -- that Maria Lopez gave courtesy a slow jump of the line --- to bump himself up to second place. While pack leader Lucas di Grassi struggled with battery heating issues throughout the course of the race, pushing him further and further towards the back of the pack. Allowing Rosenqvist to close the gap on him from behind. The Swede used his Fan Boosted energy to pass the Schaeffler Audi to propel himself into the lead. From there on end Rosenqvist was a man unstoppable, knocking down the laps to India, and Mahindra’s first ever win in the Formula E.
While di Grassi finished second, Mahindra's Nick Heidfeld bagged a hard fought third, making it a double podium for the Indian team. Taking fourth place in qualifying just behind his teammate, Heidfield struggled with the pace, which improved after the mandatory car swap. However, instead of competing in the battle of top two, Heidfield rather chose to defend his position, having passed Maria Lopez for third in the initial laps.
Lucas di Grassi was forced to settle for the second step on the podium, while on third place it was another Mahindra piloted by Nick Heidfeld. Heidfeld had started in fourth place just behind Felix, but struggled to keep race pace as the laps flowed on. However, the struggle seemed to end at the mandated car swap. Seeing his team mate leading the charge Heidfeld made the rational call to defend his position.
Sebastian Buemi -- despite his disqualification-- still sits comfortably clear of the rest of the field in the championship standing. However, this weekend result will have brought di Grassi close to Buemi reducing the gap between the two to 22 points.