Indian outfit Mahindra Racing made a successful start to the FIA Formula E Championship as Lucas Di Grassi finished third in the season opener in Mexico after clinching the first pole position of the Gen3 era.
Starting from pole, Lucas held the lead through two safety cars before dropping to second behind eventual winner Jake Dennis of Avalanche Andretti squad on Saturday.
After a tense battle with Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein, Lucas slipped to third but held on to the lead of a five-car train that was right on his tail throughout the latter part of the race. He crossed the line in third, grabbing the team’s first podium in 2023 and Lucas’ 40th pole in Formula E history.
Oliver Rowland had a difficult race, struggling with the pace of the car and rear tyre degradation in qualifying, making it a mammoth task to even get into the points. He crossed the line P13.
“It’s been the dream weekend you could want as a Team Principle starting with a new team. We managed the weekend well so it’s very satisfying getting pole and being on the podium at the end.
“Ollie also came back into the game after a difficult qualifying, he had good pace towards the end. A mega result for the team but we need to make sure we can do this at the rest of the events.
“It’s a great achievement for Mahindra Racing but also all the partners who have worked so hard on creating the Gen3 car,” said CEO Frederic Bertrand.
After getting his first pole and podium for Mahindra Racing, Lucas said: “What happened today was like a Mexican miracle. To be on pole and to be on the podium and going home with 18 points after a tough beginning to the season is a testimony to the hard work the team are putting in to make the car the best we can.” Mahindra had endured a tough time in the previous season and eventually finished eighth in the standings. The team also parted ways with longtime team boss Dilbagh Gill.
The result is a shot in the arm for Mahindra ahead of the inaugural Formula E race in Hyderabad on February 11.