What makes a team, a team? The workforce behind each outfit is key to every move a team does, and Formula E is no stranger to this. Andrea Perilli speaks with two engineers and one mechanic of Mahindra Racing to discuss what is the DNA of the team.
Nicola Bassan (engineer), Xavier Montero (Mechanic), and Miguel Ángel López (Mechanic) will take part in Formula E’s fourth season within Mahindra’s garage, as they aim to try and help push the Indian team towards a championship title.
Bassan explains that Mahindra has created a positive working environment within the team which is vital in motorsport.
“Always the most important thing is to remember what differentiates a team from a group of engineers and mechanics: a team win and lose together. It is useless to search for the guilty after a defeat, as it is useless thinking that a win is thanks only to one person. This is what we always need to remember and understand that thanks to this we achieved the 3rd place last championship“, comments Bassan
Mahindra Racing came third in Season three, a massive achievement for the Indian team. It all became possible thanks to Felix Rosenqvist and Nick Heidfeld’s podium finishes, Rosenqvist’s pole positions, and a win in Berlin by the Swede -the first one for him and the team in the series.
“Nobody expected that from Mahindra. It was a wonderful result we achieved, and the fact of being in front of other big names such as Audi, Renault or Citroen is something that makes you really proud of. Having the opportunity of listening for the 1st time ever the Indian anthem in a motorsport event last year in Berlin was amazing”, continues Bassan.
Mechanic Miguel Ángel López expressed the best aspect of working for the team was just how professional the team has become since season one.
“The professionalism. The team is evolving at the same time as the series. We are just getting stronger and stronger,” said Lopez
Xavier Montero believes that the team have developed great procedures and are using the best technology available which is helping create a quicker race car.
“The possibility of learning strong procedures, working to help develop the car and the approach to high-level technology. We are also working with experienced engineers and drivers,” explains Montero.
“I think the key is our constant work in the development of the car and the working methods that we use. Each race is better than the previous one and that evolution is the most important“, adds López. “There is a very good atmosphere in the team, there are moments for everything but we are usually joking and laughing.”
Things are certainly going in the right way for the team. They are currently leading the Teams’ Championship after two nail-biting races in Hong Kong. Montero, Lopez and Bassan explain what a race weekend feels like within a team garage.
“A race weekend seems to last seven or eight days cause the working days are very long and with a lot of pressure”, conveys Montero about the course of the race weekend.
“Everything happens really quick in the same day, so it is important to do, before the weekend, all the homework in order to be prepared”, says Bassan. “The adrenaline and tension of the weekend are the most remarkable. The day goes so quickly it is so important to stay focused,” concluded López.
The Rosenqvist – Heidfeld lineup is considered by many to be the strongest on the grid. Their engineers and mechanics thoroughly agree with this.
“They are the perfect mix between an experienced F1 driver and a Formula E rookie on the same team. The feedback that you can have from drivers like them makes it possible to improve every day as an engineer”, compliments Bassan.
“All their comments about car behaviour and team procedures are very useful and make the team move forward faster”, adds Montero. Lopez adds “they are two great pilots and that is noticeable every time they get into the car. They make very few mistakes and have a great capacity to develop the car.”
Next January, Mahindra Racing will be back on track in the streets of Marrakesh, Morocco, to defend the first in the Teams’ Standings as the team aims to get to the top of the Drivers’ Championship with Rosenqvist and Heidfeld at the wheel, with an immensely supportive team backing them up.