Chandhok set to part company with Mahindra ahead of second Formula E season

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Karun Chandhok is set to part company with Mahindra Racing ahead of the second FIA Formula E season following a difficult first campaign in the championship, according to a report.

Chandhok raced for Mahindra alongside Bruno Senna in the electric-powered series’ inaugural season, scoring 18 points – all of which came in the first two races – to finish 17th in the final standings.

Speaking to Press Trust of India, Chandhok revealed that he is set to step away from Formula E and will instead focus on sportscar racing for the rest of 2015.

“It is looking increasingly unlikely,” Chandhok said when asked if he’d be continuing with Mahindra.

“Obviously season one was a disappointment for us after a good start. We seem to have differing thoughts on what direction the team needs to go in to improve in season two.

“Ultimately Dilbagh Gill [Mahindra team principal] has decided he wants to experiment with some changes to the overall team.

“From my side I am going to step away and spend the next few months refocusing on my options in sportscar racing and also some new projects.”

Mahindra is yet to officially announce its line-up for season two, but looks set to retain Senna after the Brazilian led the team’s charge in season one and even played a pivotal role in deciding the championship at the final race in London.

PTI’s report also claims that Mahindra will be announcing its line-up for season two on Monday at Donington Park, where the first official pre-season test will take place.

“We are very close to deciding on the drivers for the upcoming season,” Gill said. “We have tested with a lot of exciting drivers in the past one month and we are evaluating who is best for the team.

“Whoever comes on board, the bottomline is performance of the team. Last year was disappointing to be honest. We did not perform to our capabilities. It wasn’t acceptable to anyone in the team.”

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
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Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.