Mahindra Racing returned to the podium on Saturday as Alexander Sims scored second in the Rome E-Prix, marking the team’s first podium in the M7Electro powered by the new ZF powertrain. Alex Lynn also opened his points account with a solid performance in Saturday’s incident-packed race. Season 7 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship continued this weekend with rounds three and four held on the streets of Rome. Having raced in the city twice before, Formula E raced on a newly configured circuit.
After a disrupted start to the day on Saturday, with red flags during both practice sessions, Sims and Lynn hit the track to qualify on the newly reconfigured circuit, the longest on the Season 7 calendar. Lynn secured a seventh row start from the 13th, with Sims in the row behind, beginning from the 15th.
In a race that both started and ended under the safety car, and saw a third of the field retire, Lynn was able to avoid incidents that peppered the 45 minutes and open his account for the season, collecting four points for taking the chequered flag in a solid eighth place. He also finished Saturday’s E-Prix as the top regen driver, demonstrating the most efficient use of energy. Unfortunately, Sims was forced into retirement on lap two through no fault of his own when he was hit from behind, causing damage to the M7Electro that meant he could not continue.
Sunday’s action saw drivers compete on a wet track for qualifying, which made lap times around 20 seconds slower than on Saturday and added another layer of complexity to an already challenging circuit.
After both drivers had completed group qualifying, Sims advanced to Super Pole, setting the sixth-fastest time overall, while Lynn secured an eighth-row start. After gaining positions up to third by lap 7, Sims then took advantage of a restart following a full course yellow on lap 9 to pip Pascal Wehrlein to second, and he held that position solidly until the chequered flag, securing his first podium for the team he joined ahead of Season 7. Lynn finished ninth on the road in the race, but was penalised for being unable to activate his final Attack Mode due to a late safety car, and was classified 17th.
Jean-Eric Vergne won Saturday’s E-Prix for DS Techeetah, with Stoffel Vandoorne taking victory on Sunday. Rounds 5 and 6 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship are set to take place in Valencia, Spain, on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 April.
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