Mahindra Racing confirms Formula E entry

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Mahindra Racing has confirmed that it will be competing in the inaugural FIA Formula E Championship in 2014, becoming the eighth team to announce its participation in the new series.

Formula E is the first electric powered racing series to receive FIA backing, and the initial interest has been highly encouraging. A number of established racing teams have already confirmed that they will be racing including American outfits Andretti Autosport and Dragon Racing. Mahindra, which is also the only Indian team to race in Moto 3, has now confirmed that it too will be racing in the series come the first round in Beijing next September.

“We are very excited about our new adventure with Formula E,” chairman of Mahindra Racing S.P. Shukla explained. “Mahindra Racing is relatively young, but we have seen how racing delivers benefits to our organisation, not only from the brand perspective, but equally in terms of technology advances and motivation.

“This is an excellent addition to our racing portfolio and we are looking forward to a successful future in Formula E.”

With Mahindra’s participation confirmed, Formula E is guaranteed to start with at least eight teams coming from seven different nations. GP2 team DAMS has confirmed its entry (the delightfully-named e.dams) as well as ex-Formula One team Super Aguri.

The driver line-ups are yet to be confirmed, but former F1 drivers Lucas di Grassi and Karun Chandhok are widely expected to secure a seat. Also, IndyCar’s Takuma Sato is also thought to be set to join Super Aguri, but he will be hoping that this partnership is far more fruitful than their time together in F1.

The jury may still be out on electric racing, but Formula E is becoming harder and harder not to like.

Sergio Perez wins rain-delayed race in Singapore over Leclerc; Verstappen seventh

Sergio Perez Singapore
Clive Rose/Getty Images,
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SINGAPORE — Max Verstappen’s Formula One title celebrations were put on hold after the Red Bull driver placed seventh at a chaotic Singapore Grand Prix, won by his teammate Sergio Perez on Sunday.

Perez’s second win of the season saw him finish 7.6 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. in third place.

Perez was investigated for a potential safety car infringement but still kept the win after a 5-second time penalty for dropping too far back after being warned.

Verstappen had won the past five races but needed to win here and finish 22 points ahead of Leclerc to be crowned champion for a second straight season. That could happen next weekend at the Japanese GP.

Verstappen made a mistake after the second safety car restart, following AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda’s crash on Lap 36. When Verstappen tried to overtake Lando Norris’ McLaren, he locked his tires and needed to pit again.

Leclerc started from pole position with Verstappen going from eighth after a team blunder in qualifying.

The race start was delayed by more than an hour to clear water off the Marina Bay Circuit track following heavy rainfall. Drivers had to finish the 61-lap race within a two-hour window; 59 laps were completed.

Tricky conditions saw the virtual safety car deployed three times and DRS was allowed with about 30 minutes remaining.

Perez made a good start and jumped past Leclerc while Verstappen dropped several places. The first safety car was on Lap 8 when Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo was cut off by Nicholas Latifi’s Williams.

Perez got away cleanly at the restart, while Verstappen climbed into seventh behind Fernando Alonso – whose 350th F1 race ended disappointingly when his engine failed on Lap 21, bringing out the first VSC.

With the track still damp, drivers decided against changing to quicker tires – apart from Mercedes’ George Russell, who struggled for grip.

Hamilton made a rare mistake on Lap 33 and thudded into the crash barrier. Soon after, the leading drivers changed tires in a flurry of stops. They did so just before the safety car was deployed again following Tsunoda’s error.

Verstappen overtook Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin right at the end for seventh place.