Edoardo Mortara and Nyck De Vries both believe that the seven-week break has been useful for Mahindra Racing as they search to become more competitive. 

The Indian team has struggled in the GEN 3 era for general performance and efficiency, but Mortara has been happy with the progress the team has made during the in-season break.

“It might not be clear for the people outside the team, but we’ve been working extremely hard in order to extract more performance out of the car,” stated Mortara.

“Obviously, we’re not satisfied with the level of performance that we’ve shown, especially in qualifying, in the first two race weekends, but we are now understanding more and more our issues and trying to find the right solutions in order for us to be more competitive.

“There were a lot of things we’ve tested, and it might take a little bit of time for us to find the right path, but this is at the moment the situation that we’re in.

“I have full confidence and trust in the team, I think it’s pretty clear, the problems we’re experiencing, and I believe at some point it’s going to be better; I hope it’ll be the case in Sao Paulo.”

De Vries also expressed that the team is working hard to make progress with their package before the end of the season.

“The break has been useful for us,” said De Vries. “We got the opportunity to analyse the work that we’ve done across the first two events. Internally, I do see that we are making those steps, we are creating more understanding, better structures, and processes.

“At the same time, we are making progress in the areas that we need to – obviously you can be better everywhere, but there have to be targets. I feel that we are collectively on the right path.”

In the races this season, Mahindra have made 27 positions from their starting grid spots, but both drivers know that it doesn’t mean much if they can’t break into the points-scoring positions.

“I don’t think we should focus too much on positions gained,” said Mortara. “It’s a good thing because we showed competitiveness across the three races so far. We weren’t the quickest, but also not the slowest, which is a positive sign for us.

“We need to be trying to qualify a little bit further us, this will massively help us with achieving more and better performances.

If we want to score points and be more regularly fighting at the front, we need to find a way to qualify nearer to there.

“This will come with the work the team is doing to give us as drivers a car that is more drive-able and that we can push more comfortably to its limits.”

De Vries added, “I agree that the ’27 places’ doesn’t mean anything. We’ve been solid in executing our race plans, but it was probably more due to people’s misfortune and mistakes, rather than pure pace, that allowed us to be in those positions.

“I haven’t experienced a GEN3 race yet with slipstreaming involved, so I’m curious to experience it and see where we are.

“I would agree that we need to focus a bit more on qualifying, but it’s more linked to the characteristics of the track. In Mexico and Diriyah, the energy saving wasn’t significant, but in Sao Paulo, it will be, so the qualifying position becomes less relevant.”