Mahindra Racing is already developing its 2015 cars, according to Indian motorsports website, Overdrive. In a detailed interview, team boss Dilbagh Gill reveals why he believes his outfit is the one to beat. His recipe for Formula E success? Simulators, battery chemistry and composition, and an operational partnership with Carlin.
“We’re focusing a lot on simulation. That’s an area we’re investing a lot in: simulation from a driver’s perspective as we need them to get used to these cars. These cars are not conventional gasoline, and are very different to drive. Also our drivers require a lot of ‘seat time’, in their vehicles. The simulator-based models have been put to use though. We’ve had Karun sit in a simulator for some time.
Or main strength is the powertrain. We don’t think it is our core competence, nor do we want to make it like that in the near future, to run a single seater racecar. So we decided to look for a partner we can work with and come up with a team. F1 becomes a distraction. The series below it are a lot more hard-working and a lot more efficient with their money. And Carlin has been the most successful racing team in all series below F1. So they were our choice.
We understand the electric technology better than Carlin. When you speak about strategy, it’s going to be a combination of Mahindra and Carlin. These cars are very different for the drivers. Here, the weight remains constant and the power decreases. You might be the fastest, but that’s not going to help you. You could run out of battery in 8 laps instead of 10 laps. You need to cross your mark. That’s where the REVA team comes in to help out.
From Mahindra’s perspective, we’ve made quite a bit of progress towards the 2015 car. I’m not at liberty to say exactly how we’ve done it, but I think we’re father ahead of the competition. One of the biggest complications we’re facing is that the rules and regulations for next year haven’t been frozen yet.
We have started evaluating alternate chemistries for the battery. Basically, our interest focuses on the powertrain. We are of the view that this should not become an aero championship; this should become a power championship. I know what we have, and I believe it’s something of a benchmark to other teams.”