Mahindra Racing announces new driver line-up for ABB FIA Formula E Championship

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 16 Oct 2018

L-R: Pascal Wehrlein and Jerome d'Ambrosio will be driving the M5Electro in the 2018-19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

Mahindra Racing has revealed its new driver line-up for the 2018-19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship. Former Formula One driver and 2015 DTM Champion Pascal Wehrlein joins Mahindra Racing as he makes his Formula E debut. His team-mate will be highly experienced Formula E regular and double race-winner Jérôme D’Ambrosio.

Wehrlein holds the record for being the youngest competitor in DTM, the youngest to win a DTM race and in 2015, when he was 20, became the youngest to win the title. Before this, his single-seater prowess shone through as he took honours as 2011 ADAC Formula Masters Champion, F3 European Championship Top Rookie and Formula 3 Euro Series Vice-Champion. In 2014, he became development and simulator driver for the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team and, following his DTM success, Wehrlein competed in two full seasons of Formula One, contesting for Manor Racing and Sauber F1 Team. Now, at the age of 23, the German-Mauritian driver makes the move to all-electric single seaters with race-winning team Mahindra Racing. 

Highly experienced Belgian Jérôme D’Ambrosio joins Mahindra Racing for Season 5 after four seasons with Dragon Racing, which saw him compete in every one of Formula E’s 45-race history and achieve two race wins, seven podiums and two pole positions. The 32-year-old brings with him a plethora of experience to the Indian outfit, including at Formula 1 level where he had 20 race starts and was a part of the Renault F1 Driver Development Programme. He has had a long, varied and successful career, with accolades ranging from Belgian Formula Renault Champion and International Formula Master Champion to Vice-Champion of the GP2 Asia Series.

D’Ambrosio has proven himself a fierce and steadfast competitor in Formula E, with his highest championship finish coming in the 2014/15 season where he placed fourth. He has already completed a number of private tests with the Mahindra Racing Gen2 car and will make his first public outing for the squad at the all-teams Valencia test in October.

Meanwhile, Nick Heidfeld will continue with the Mahindra Racing family in a new advisory role and in the position of official test and reserve driver. Nick has been with Mahindra Racing for three seasons after competing in the inaugural Formula E season for Venturi GP. In his four-year Formula E career to date, he has scored eight podium finishes, seven of which were with Mahindra. His new role, which sees him remain an integral part of the team, will see him in attendance at various races.

Finally, Belgian racer Sam Dejonghe will continue the role he began in November 2017 as simulator and development driver for the team. He has worked closely with the engineering team since his appointment on race simulator and test car development and drove the Mahindra Racing Gen2 car last month at CarFest for the UK’s first demonstration run of a Season 5 Formula E car.

New livery for M5Electro unveiled 
Mahindra Racing also today unveils its new livery for the M5Electro – the new Generation 2 Formula E car. The new livery has been unveiled in Valencia ahead of this week’s all-teams test.

The design sees an evolution of the team’s iconic and unique red, white and blue colour scheme, updated and created to reflect the new design of the Gen2 car. The team also unveils a new team kit ahead of the 2018/19 season, which draws inspiration from iconic Indian symbols ­– the Bengal tiger and Lotus flower. 

Mahindra Racing is one of ten founding teams – and the only Indian team – to compete in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the world’s first all-electric racing series. Mahindra Racing has an impressive stats sheet; after scoring its breakthrough win at the Berlin E-Prix in 2017, the squad now has three race victories to its name in addition to 15 podiums, six pole positions and 516 points from 45 starts. After four seasons with the first-generation race car, all eyes now turn to Season 5. Mahindra Racing has high ambitions with the Gen2 M5Electro, a technical innovation that will see the car last the duration of a race as Formula E continues to push the limits of technology and electrification.

Wehrlein and D’Ambrosio will be publicly testing the Mahindra Racing Gen2 car at the all-teams test from 16-19 October at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain. The first race of the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship will take place at Ad Diryiah, Saudi Arabia, on 15 December.

Also read: Bosch plugs into ABB FIA Formula E Championship as official supplier

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