Rosenqvist, Mahindra explain costly Mexico failure
Formula E title challenger Felix Rosenqvist is keen to “forget” the Mexico City ePrix, having dropped out of contention after he'd led comfortably from pole.
Rosenqvist suddenly slowed going through the former Peraltada corner one third of the way into the race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
The Mahindra Racing driver lost the lead he had gained over the chasing pack that was headed by NIO’s Oliver Turvey and included eventual race winner Daniel Abt, and later retired after restarting his car and then re-joining for an aborted spell in his second machine.
“It was just like someone switched it off,” Rosenqvist told Motorsport.com.
“I had to restart the whole car and then I did two laps and then it came again, and then I did one lap and it came again.
“It happened one more time and then we said ‘f**k it, let’s box’.”
“But anyway, I can still travel home with a smile on my face because I think I did everything real good today.”
Despite failing to finish the race, Rosenqvist remains second in the drivers’ standings and only dropped seven points to championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne.
The pair arrived in Mexico separated by just five points and Rosenqvist’s three for pole means he is now 12 adrift of Vergne, who finished the race in fifth place for Techeetah, adding 10 points to his tally.
“I only lost seven points today – so that’s very good, a lot of luck in an unlucky situation,” said Rosenqvist.
“I’m just going to forget and pretend that when we come to Punta [del Este, the next round] it’s the same as we came here [with].”
Mahindra team boss Dilbagh Gill explained to Motorsport.com that Rosenqvist’s “battery failed”.
“I’ll take some positives out of it – we had a very fast car, we were leading the race comfortably,” he said.
“[But] a common part failed on the battery. Unfortunate, but we really can’t do much on it, it’s a common part.
“Until then, we had set the fastest lap, we were leading by three seconds [after] 15 laps – what more could we have asked for?”
Adding to the Mahindra team's disappointment – one year on from both of its cars being eliminated in the same crash with Renault e.dams driver Nico Prost at the Mexican venue – Nick Heidfeld also retired in the second half of the race.
The German driver’s second car suffered a water pump failure on lap 27 of 47.
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