Adam Carroll on Standby but Heidfeld Returns as Mahindra Racing Takes Double Points Finish.
There was a bit of a buzz around Motorsport.ie Towers as Formula E arrived in Argentina for the Buenos Aires E Prix. Impact with the barriers in Putrajaya meant Oliver Rowland had replaced Nick Heidfeld in the Punta E Prix following surgery on ligament damage in his left wrist. The German arrived ready to race at Buenos Aires, but Portadown native Adam Carroll was on standby if Quick Nick had any adverse reactions to his return.
Mixed emotions for Irish motorsport fans then. Great to see Nick recover, but we’d have offered him a pot of tea, some pampering and a weekend off if it meant getting to see Adam Carroll take to the wheel of the #23 Mahindra for the weekend. The 5 times GP2 race winner and A1GP champion would surely be highly competitive if called upon.
As it transpired normal service was resumed as Nick and Bruno, the teams original pairing, took on a challenging but fruitful weekend. Nick would start 13th as he felt his way back in, but it would get much worse for Bruno as he hit the wall on the last corner of his qualifying lap an ended up in 16th. If Mahindra were going to get anything out of the weekend they would have to do it the hard way.
The mechanics scrambled to repair Senna’s car in time for the race and were clearly delighted to see both Mahindra Racing cars secure point scoring finishes in the race with Nick Heidfeld and Bruno Senna finishing in P7 and P10 respectively. Mahindra Racing was one of only two teams to have both drivers score points in the race.
With many cars suffering from issues related to the heat at the track, the team focused on clean racing, careful thermal management and precise car swaps during the pit stop phase to battle into points scoring positions.
Nick Heidfeld: “Of course, we will always aim to finish higher than P7 but it is great to score points on my return. A few weeks ago, I could do very little with my hand and I’m thrilled that I could get back into the car and push straight away. Double points is a solid result for us. And now that I am fit and back in the car I aim to build on that. I would also like to thank Adam Carroll for his support throughout the weekend as a standby should I have felt unable to race.”
Bruno Senna: “This race was a return to the momentum we had been building in the early races but it was hard earned. The M2Electro performed well and the work we did during testing in Punta del Este certainly paid off, particularly in race trim. It is important to capitalize on our reliability when the conditions are tough and this has been key in both our double points finishes so far this season.”
“I have to thank my team. The contact with the wall in qualifying meant that my second car was still being repaired right until my pit stop in the race. They worked incredibly hard to get the car ready and then performed a flawless car swap which helped us gain positions. I am glad to win a point for them. We will always aim for more points but this point belongs to them.”
Dilbagh Gill, Team Principal and CEO of Mahindra Racing Formula E Team: “We can be proud of today’s result. We work very hard between each round of the Championship and that showed in the race. The team did a fantastic job to prepare Bruno’s second car in record time after his incident in qualifying. They showed their experience and colossal team spirit today. It was a proud moment for Mahindra Racing. We will enjoy this result but push for more going forward.”