Mahindra needs to "improve in certain areas" despite Riyadh podium

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Rachit Thukral
By: Rachit Thukral
Co-author: Alex Kalinauckas
Dec 20, 2018, 6:29 AM

Mahindra Racing chief Dilbagh Gill admits his ABB FIA Formula E squad needs to “improve in certain areas” despite a podium finish in the season-opening Ad Diriyah E-Prix.

New Mahindra recruit Jerome d’Ambrosio ran as high as second in Riyadh last weekend, before an ill-timed safety car dropped him behind the DS Techeetah of defending champion Jean-Eric Vergne, and he eventually finished third.

The result marked the fourth successive time Mahindra started a season with a podium finish, and although Gill feels the M5Electro is a “pretty fast car”, he also insists there is room for improvement.

“We could have done better,” Gill told Motorsport.com. “We had I think a pretty fast car, we had a good car.

“Safety car caused us a little bit of an issue to finish second and Jerome in front for the safety car, that has never happened, a situation where we have a full course followed by a safety car, so that was a bit funny.

“Felix was caught into traffic and I think he had made up five positions in the first couple of laps and the car was strong, so I’m going back slightly bittersweet sort of moment here, it’s nice for the fourth consecutive season to start with a podium but I think we could have done better today.”

He added: “I think today is tough to take any kind of thing from because it’s a mixed grid, weather conditions today.

“But I think overall yeah it was reasonably representative of where we should be, but I think yeah we need to improve in certain areas in the team.”

D’Ambrosio, who moved to Mahindra after four seasons with the Dragon team, reiterated his desire to fight for the championship - and feels this result will go some way in achieving that goal.

“It’s an amazing way to start and I’m really happy to be part of such a great team with great people in a great atmosphere,” the former Formula 1 driver told Motorsport.com.

“It’s a great way to start and I think we can really build on this, as you know it takes time to get to know the team so I think we’ve got some good days ahead of us if we keep on working the way we do.”

He added: “Again it’s a great way to start the season, we have to live on this try to fight for the championship.

“We have tough contenders and this is becoming one of the most competitive, if not the most competitive, championship in the world, everyone is so close, and so it’s really down to the people who work best.”

Jérôme d'Ambrosio, Mahindra Racing celebrates third position on the podium

Jérôme d'Ambrosio, Mahindra Racing celebrates third position on the podium

Photo by: Malcolm Griffiths / LAT Images

 
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Series Formula E
Author Rachit Thukral