Mahindra Racing’s Team Principal Dilbagh Gill is hopeful his squad can build on their qualifying performance after having two tricky races in Diriyah.
Mahindra had a disappointing start to the season in Saudi Arabia after only scoring just two points, despite D’Ambrosio making Super Pole in both sessions.
Ahead of the race in Santiago, Gil is confident that the team can build off the success they had in qualifying in Diriyah. “We had a strong performance in qualifying in Diriyah and we’ll be looking to build on this momentum in Chile, while at the same time working hard to ensure a strong race performance as well.
“We’ve seen in previous years the impact high track temperatures can have on the race so the challenge this weekend will be managing both tyre and battery temperatures. We saw the new season six energy regulations come into play at the opening race and, if we have a safety car or full course yellow period this round, then the race could be another interesting one.”
D’Ambrosio was the better of the two drivers in Diriyah, finishing ninth in race one as well as his two Super Pole appearances, while Pascal Wehrlein failed to score in either race.
“I felt really good in the car at the last race in Saudi Arabia,” said D’Ambrosio. “With my double Super Pole appearance and we’ve worked hard in the offseason and since Saudi, so I’m aiming to make it a Super Pole hat-trick this time out in Santiago.”
“Last year, the tyres were a big problem and we had a lot of degradation with the rising track temperatures, but we have tools in place to try to manage this better.”
Wehrlein is intrigued to find out how the track changes will affect the racing, as the final corner hairpin has been modified for this year’s event.
“The track has changed a bit from last year,” said Wehrlein. “But I would say Santiago is one of the fastest tracks with big braking points and, last year, we were good on brakes.
“The challenge there is that high temperatures can affect the tyres and battery, causing the car to overheat. Aside from adapting your driving style and taking care not slide, there’s not a lot you can do, but we have prepared as much as possible for the Chilean heat. With the new energy reduction regulations, strategy and energy management are more important than ever before.”