Analysis: Where is Mahindra in the pecking order

If the directors of Mahindra Racing are going to continue supporting the Formula E programme, success in season two of the FIA Formula E Championship will be critical says Peter Santamaria-Woods.

Eighth place in the teams’ championship in season one was dismal and resultantly the directors at Mahindra Racing will be looking for a vast improvement to justify the cost of championship participation.

Pre-season testing

The six days of testing conducted at Donington Park in August provided an insight into how season two will play out – and the situation looks promising for the Indian squad.

Mahindra completed a total of 1669km in testing with Bruno Senna and Nick Heidfeld behind the wheel, which amounts to 14.4% of the total running achieved by all teams.

This total was only bettered by Venturi who completed 15.5% of the total distance and Renault e.dams on 14.8%.

With 10 teams on the grid, if all were on an even keel, they would have completed 10% of the running - clearly Mahindra are one of the teams who have stolen an early advantage in relation to gathering data.

Percentage of total distance covered:

Pos Team Percentage
1 Venturi 15.5
2 Renault e.dams 14.8
3 Mahindra Racing 14.4
4 Dragon Racing 12.7
5 Team Aguri 12.5
6 Virgin Racing 10.8
7 ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport 8.5
8 NEXTEV TCR 7.7
9 Andretti 2.7
10 Trulli 0.2

The fastest lap set by each team across the six days was as follows:

Pos

Day

Driver

Time

Team

1

4

Lucas di Grassi

1:29.920

ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport

2

4

Sebastien Buemi

1:30.382

Renault e.dams

3

5

Sam Bird

1:30.451

DS Virgin Racing

4

4

Nick Heidfeld

1:30.674

Mahindra Racing

5

6

Jerome D’Ambrosio

1:30.860

Dragon Racing

6

6

Stephane Sarrazin

1:30.923

Venturi

7

4

Nathanael Berthon

1:31.185

Team Aguri

8

6

Robin Frijns

1:31.434

Andretti

9

6

Nelson Piquet

1:33.679

NEXTEV TCR

10

6

Vintantonio Liuzzi

-

Trulli

Once again, Mahindra are in the top half of the field which bodes well going forward. Of course, this data will be skewed by the different programmes each team were running, but the data is also somewhat indicative of how the early races could pan out.

Analysis

Assigning points to teams on a 1-10 scale based on their mileage covered and best laptime in order to produce an “average index” makes for interesting reading.

Pos

Team

Mileage score

Laptime score

Average index

1

Renault e.dams

2

2

2

2=

Venturi

1

6

3.5

2=

Mahindra Racing

3

4

3.5

4

ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport

7

1

4

5=

Dragon Racing

4

5

4.5

5=

DS Virgin Racing

6

3

4.5

7

Team Aguri

5

7

6

8=

NEXTEV TCR

8

9

8.5

8=

Andretti

9

8

8.5

10

Trulli

10

10

10

Is this the pecking order that will come to fruition in the early races? It certainly does not seem overly farfetched.

There are a number of parameters not taken into consideration here such as the track characteristics of the early races and the number of gears each car has (which will be a key factor in dictating race results), but this appears to be a reasonable guide.

For Mahindra, to be placed joint second on this “average index” is quite impressive and this means that the Indian outfit's pre-season went extremely well.

With the preparation complete, this is where the real racing begins - with new brakes, and an updated gearbox and powertrain, it could be the season where Mahindra Racing turn their early promise into points, podiums, and wins.

Read Also - Beijing ePrix's shakedown report

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About this article
Series Formula E
Drivers Nick Heidfeld , Bruno Senna
Teams Mahindra Racing
Article type Analysis