With the second season of Formula E ending just six weeks ago, the summer break was dominated by talk of which drivers would take part in the 2016/17 season.
On the eve of the first pre-season test at Donington Park, Mahindra Racing announced that Felix Rosenqvist, the current Formula 3 European Champion, would race for the team alongside Nick Heidfeld.
We spoke to Felix during the first day of testing at Donington to get his thoughts on his debut.
There was a lot of speculation over the summer regarding who would get the second Mahindra Racing drive. How do you feel to be part of such an exciting project?
It feels really good! I’ve actually done a couple of days of private testing so it’s not completely new, it feels good to come here a bit prepared. In terms of the racing, for sure it’s very challenging but when you are driving the car it feels very good. It’s been very nice to be part of the team during the break to develop the new car and I’m quite impressed by the effort of all of the guys. They are working flat out.
The championship is continuing to grow, and this season we will be racing in cities such as Hong Kong and New York. What do you make of the championship and its growth?
The venues are just fantastic. The fact that they can do so many street circuits in such great cities show the level of effort and commitment from the organisers. I think people have to watch a bit of the racing to understand what’s going on but once you start watching it’s very interesting. Once I started watching the series properly I thought it was very cool. We just need to keep working on that message and for sure it will grow a lot more.
A Formula E car is very different to some of the previous cars that you have driven. What is the learning curve like and how have you adapted?
A Formula E car is very different in terms of power and sound, but at the end of the day you are still pushing hard and trying to brake as late as possible. Driving wise it’s not anything strange, it’s just that it’s heavy, it’s quiet. The fact that you need to manage the energy – that’s where it will become very different to any other championship so it’s difficult to know what it’s like.
What are the team looking for at testing? Is it reliability or outright speed?
It’s been a couple of hectic weeks. At Donington we aren’t really trying to find the right set up, you just want to check that the car works and that the reliability is okay. From my side I just need to start preparing as much as possible for a race weekend because I’ve driven the car quite a lot now but it would be good if I could start getting used to some lift and coast.