Mahindra changing team model to fix "consistent inconsistency"

Mahindra Racing boss Dilbagh Gill hopes his squad no longer using service provider team Campos Racing to run its race operations will cure its “consistently inconsistent” Formula E form.

Mahindra changing team model to fix "consistent inconsistency"

Since the 2015/16 FE season, Mahindra has employed Campos – in collaboration with the QEV Technologies company that Campos invests in – to run its race operations at FE events after partnering with Carlin for the inaugural campaign in 2014/15.

But the team has made a comprehensive change over the summer and more than doubled – from 18 to over 50 – its directly-employed workforce, which will run Mahindra’s cars at race events and work on its powertrain package from a single base – a new facility understood to be in Abingdon near Oxford.

Previously, Mahindra’s resources were spread between its current Banbury workshop and Campos/QEV facilities near Barcelona.

The team’s in-house expansion includes appointing a new team manager – David Clarke, who worked in the same role at DS Techeetah during its double title-winning season in 2018/19 – as well as a chief mechanic and a new race engineer for Jerome D’Ambrosio.  

“We’re bringing the whole team to England,” Gill told Motorsport.com. “We’re actually moving from Banbury because we don’t have enough space at Banbury now.

“So we found a place in Oxford where we’re moving in November – a real good place. But [it will be the] entire team [based there] – we don’t have a service provider model any more.

“Most of the team is directly employed going forwards. So, we have a lot of new folks in the team.

“I’m not really happy about it because I liked the [Campos] folks, but I think in the long-run it was best for the team to bring it all together to get the last bit of efficiency, which we were losing [by] being in two locations – Banbury and Barcelona.

“So we said ‘let’s bring everything into one location’.”

Mahindra has finished fourth and sixth in the teams’ standings in the last two FE seasons after taking third in 2016/17, and has won races in each of others campaigns.

But its fluctuating form in the last two seasons dropped it from title contention, something Gill hopes the team structure changes will solve in 2019/20.

“That’s an area which we’ve been working on because we’ve been consistently inconsistent over the last couple of years,” he said.

“That’s one of the reasons why we’re trying to bring the whole team together – so we can start working well and just improving through the year.

“Because we’ve given up a lot [before]. We have a decent team – we should have been in a  slightly different position than when we were in the last couple of years.

“Season five was for sure the worst year we’ve ever had in terms of [what] our potential was and [then] performance was at the end of the year.

“We need to correct that and that’s what we’re hoping to do this year.”

Mahindra announced a new powertrain partnership with former Venturi supplier ZF at its team launch last week, and the German technology company will build a new powertrain for the team’s 2020/21 contender.

But ZF will provide Mahindra with assistance on its 2019/20 package, which Gill explained has been built to address some of the handling issues the team had experienced last season.

“The car is lighter, the car is stiffer on the rear,” he said. "We worked a lot on the rear end because that was one of our issues, we worked on the rear-end stability of the car.

“And a lot of work has been done on the software and control side to make it a bit simpler.”

shares
comments
Virgin retains Bird, Frijns for 2019/20 FE season

Previous article

Virgin retains Bird, Frijns for 2019/20 FE season

Next article

Lopez questions Dragon FE driver decision

Lopez questions Dragon FE driver decision
Load comments
Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive Prime

Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive

OPINION: Circuit racing has traditionally favoured front- or rear-wheel-drive setups, eschewing the equal distribution of power. But for Formula E and other electric-powered series, our columnist believes it’s a perfect fit.

Formula E
Oct 13, 2021
How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success Prime

How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success

The Wolffs have carved their own paths in motorsport, leading their respective teams to success in Formula 1 and Formula E. But the two came together last month as their drivers finished first and second in the FE drivers' championship - a feat they are hugely proud of. In a rare joint interview, they reflect on a remarkable season

Formula E
Sep 21, 2021
The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21 Prime

The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21

OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was one without a narrative for much of the season, with no single car or driver able to break away from the pack. That makes choosing a top 10 especially difficult, particularly as the qualifying format meant some worthy performers were unable to enjoy their day in the sun.

Formula E
Sep 19, 2021
How Mercedes and de Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way Prime

How Mercedes and de Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way

When Nyck de Vries dominated the first race of what would be the most controversial and unpredictable Formula E season to date, it looked as though Mercedes was in for a cakewalk. But as the campaign wore on, the path to a title double became increasingly rocky. Neither driver or team would be assured of the crown until the closing stages of the very final race on a weekend of struggle in Berlin.

Formula E
Sep 17, 2021
The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep di Grassi winning Prime

The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep di Grassi winning

OPINION: The departure of Audi from Formula E meant its long-time driver Lucas di Grassi would need to find a new berth to stay on the grid. His deal at Venturi Racing will ensure the championship's first-ever race winner will remain competitive into the final year of the current Gen2 ruleset - although it may not be a long-term fit

Formula E
Sep 15, 2021
The problems laid bare by Mercedes' impending Formula E departure Prime

The problems laid bare by Mercedes' impending Formula E departure

Mercedes' planned withdrawal from Formula E at the end of the 2022 season will contribute to the big hole left by fellow automotive manufacturers Audi and BMW on their departures. Although the team may stick around under a different guise, the exit of the now-reigning teams' champion underlines FE's current issues...

Formula E
Aug 18, 2021
The F1 dilemma facing Mercedes' new world champion Prime

The F1 dilemma facing Mercedes' new world champion

After clinching the Formula E title at the Berlin finale, Nyck de Vries is a driver in demand. Although Mercedes would love to keep a reigning champion at the team, the allure of a Williams F1 drive may be too much for de Vries to ignore should a potential deal come to pass

Formula E
Aug 17, 2021
How de Vries claimed Formula E title glory as Mercedes exit bombshell looms Prime

How de Vries claimed Formula E title glory as Mercedes exit bombshell looms

As Formula E lined up to complete its seventh season at Berlin's Tempelhof Airport, all eyes were on who would be its first official FIA world champion. Despite Nyck de Vries' title lead heading into the weekend looking all but secure, the Dutchman held on - and enjoyed a good dollop of fortune - to secure a championship double for Mercedes

Formula E
Aug 16, 2021