Rosenqvist aiming for P3 in drivers’ fight

Felix Rosenqvist may be new to the all-electric single-seater championship, but that hasn’t stopped Sweden’s first-ever Formula E driver from creating a stir.

Rosenqvist has been one of the standout performers this season and currently sits sixth in the championship, ahead of some well established names. The 25-year-old has shown strong pace from the outset, including claiming his maiden Formula E pole, and a third-place finish, at just his second attempt.   

Ahead of the first double-header of the third season, in Berlin, Current E grilled the Mahindra Racing driver on his maiden Formula E campaign. Here’s his half term report.

Q: You’re six races into your rookie Formula E season. How’s it going? 

Felix Rosenqvist: “It’s been positive. When I joined the championship maybe I wasn’t expecting to be fighting consistently in the top five in the races. I think also from the team it’s been a very positive trend. If you look at the last two years it’s been the best year so far for the team, so I think in terms of my performance and the team’s performance we are all positively surprised.”

Q: Should you have won a race by now?

FR: “Winning a race is always difficult. We had a good shot in Marrakesh. If we had the same race today, I’m quite sure we could have won it because we have improved and developed quite a lot as a team and I’ve improved a lot as a driver. It’s always hard to say that you should have won a race but I definitely think I should have had more podiums. There have been some bad things happening in some races but it is what it is and you learn and you go on. I’m definitely aiming at getting some more podiums in the rest of the season.”

Q: That smash in Mexico was one of those bad moments. Who’s to blame for that one? 

FR: “Nick [Heidfeld] got spun around with Nico [Prost] and that sort of created mayhem. I think me and Mitch [Evans] saw an opportunity where you could gain something but there was also risk. We both wanted to go for the inside and sort of pass everything; Mitch then braked in the last second and I touched his rear wheels. Maybe if you look at it again I should have just followed him around but it’s the heat of the moment and you also try to benefit from the situation that’s happening ahead of you. Unfortunately it turned out that way. At the end of the day I’m driving the car so if anyone could have changed it, it was me but it was also kind of unfortunate I think.”

Q: Any tension between you and Mitch?

FR: “No, no. I never even blamed him for anything. I think if anything I would blame Nico Prost but we’ve moved on from that now so it is what it is.”

Q: Can you carry the momentum you’re enjoying now through until the end of the season?

FR: “I see no reason why not. You can feel that there’s a big development curve among all the teams. We had some teams that maybe struggled a bit in the beginning of the year that sort of caught up, so I think the fight to be around the podium is even tighter than before. In one way we’ve had a good car all year but we need to keep pushing very hard. It’s not going to be easy. We saw at the last track in Paris some cars looked very strong in that race and I think we probably have had one of the best cars in previous races but in Paris I felt that other teams had taken a step. We will see but we are definitely aiming at the podium.”

Q: Can Mahindra hang on to third in the teams’ championship?

FR: “I think that definitely has to be the target. We are one of the teams where both drivers are scoring points quite consistently, so that’s our advantage. We also have good teamwork, me and Nick. After what happened in Mexico we’ve changed strategy a bit and we have tried to help each other a lot more on track. Off track we always help each other to improve everything but I think every team does not have that level of teamwork and that’s something we can see we are benefitting from with being third in the championship. We’ll definitely try to keep that.”

Q: What’s your goal for the drivers’ championship?

 FR: “On my side I would like to finish in the top five, that would be great. But I think even for the third place in the championship, there’s like seven drivers that can compete for that so I think it won’t be until the last race in Montreal when we see who is going to grab that spot. That has to be the target, to be in contention for third.”

Q: When will you net your first win?

FR: “If we can get our heads a bit more around qualifying we should definitely be there to take a win. I think qualifying has been our weakness in the last couple of rounds. It’s not really the car itself but more understanding tyres and procedures because we had the pole in Marrakesh so obviously the car is there to do it but it’s more about knowledge. When we can do that I’m sure the results will be more consistent and we will have more shots at going for the win like we did in Marrakesh.”

Staff writer: Lewis Larkam

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