In what was a fast paced race from start to finish Mahindra Racing’s Bruno Senna has picked up a strong haul of points in the FIA Formula E ePrix yesterday afternoon in Buenos Aires following a fantastic drive to fifth position. The drama unfolded for Mahindra relatively early on when Karun Chandhok, who had been running in a points paying position, was left stranded on track due to a right rear suspension failure. Sadly this left the Indian racer out of contention. However the team came away with another strong recovery drive from Brazilian driver Senna who fought to make up 14 positions over the course of the race.
Both Mahindra Racing drivers drew strong qualifying groups during the morning’s qualifying lottery with Chandhok taking to the third group and Senna the fourth – this would enable them a chance to view the rest of the grid’s times before heading out themselves. Chandhok, who had been on form all day, set the 10th quickest time ensuring his starting position however a red flag disrupted Senna’s group and on his flying lap he quickly came up behind traffic which ruined his chances and left him to start on the back row of the grid.
With positions to gain both Mahindra Racing drivers were aiming for a storming race as they lined up on the grid. And as the lights went out Senna began to push hard and by the end of what was a clean lap for everybody the Brazilian racer was in 17th while Chandhok was holding strong in tenth. Over the next few laps the racing was fair before the first round of pit stops began.
Unfortunately for Chandhok his right rear suspension failed just before his pit stop which sent him in to the wall and out of the race. The resulting safety car brought a flurry of cars in to the pit lane including Senna; however when he left to return to the circuit he was painfully held at the end of the pit lane on a red light.
This left most of the grid out of order behind the Safety Car and the race was under full yellows for a few laps while the positions were corrected. At the restart Senna, the only Mahindra Racing car left in the field, began to push hard in order to move up from his 12th position which he quickly managed.
However the real drama came towards the end of the race when, with Senna charging through the field, a variety of drive through penalties, overtakes, incidents and accidents changed the picture. As a result Senna was up to an incredible fifth position by the final lap.
Reflecting on the race Senna said, ‘Of course scoring decent points like this is very good for us especially considering where we started the race. But next we need to be scoring even bigger points as the season continues. Now we’ll be going back and looking over the past two races to see where we can improve and make sure that we start the race from the top five from now on and get that podium.’
Chandhok added, ‘I was right up there in the first half of the race and looking good for a very strong result however the right rear suspension failed on my car which ruined the race. I had taken that corner in the same way all day so it’s a little hard to understand and while it’s great to see Bruno making the most of the pace it’s a shame because we could have been up there with him. Overall I’m not feeling great about the race however we’re going to move on and look forward to racing in Miami.’
Team Principal Dilbagh Gill added, ‘It was a bit of a tough race for everyone and it was bad luck for Karun whose race was terminated due to a component failure. However the second half of the race improved a lot for the team with Bruno making up so many positions with a fantastic drive from his original starting position of 19th to finish 5th. We can be pleased with the that but we’re now chasing for a podium in Miami.’