- FAN ZONE
Formula E's watchword has always been unpredictability. Six seasons, five champions and any number of race winners in that time shows as much. Mahindra Racing Team Principal Dilbagh Gill knows this by now, and he's keen for his charges to get the jump on the rest when Season 7 gets underway in Diriyah this week - just as new-boy Alexander Sims did in Saudi Arabia last time around.
Rewind to November 2019, and Alexander Sims was crossing the line for his maiden victory in Formula E with BMW i Andretti Motorsport.
Back to the present, and the Brit's been snapped up by Mahindra Racing as partner to Alex Lynn - a line-up Team Principal Dilbagh Gill couldn't be happier to have secured. He's hopeful his new pairing can get off to the best possible start when we go green in Diriyah on Friday.
“We’re very happy to get going racing in Diriyah to start the new season," said Gill. "There is no luxury of building up into a season; in Formula E the competition is so fierce and tight that we must hit the ground running.
"It’s going to be interesting as they’ve resurfaced the track and it will be our first ever night races. Diriyah always knows how to throw a curveball so that, combined with the fact that we always get good racing, sets us in good stead for a thriller of a season-opener.
"Alexander (Sims) was a star there last time around with two pole positions and a win and Alex Lynn has been a very consistent performer in qualifying. With a strong driver pairing and a positive test in Valencia, we will be targeting podium finishes from Round 1. Let’s go racing."
“I have fond memories of Diriyah; with those two poles and my first Formula E win last season," adds Sims. "The track is really exciting as the first half is just corner after corner after corner, and getting a good flow is really important. There are some decent overtaking opportunities as well so I’m looking forward to it.
"One of the unique challenges about Diriyah is that it's historically been very dusty to start with, so there's been quite a big track evolution. Trying to predict how it's going to be by qualifying and then the race is difficult to get exactly right so that keeps things exciting.”
“It's going to be very competitive, as it always is in Formula E," says fellow Brit Lynn. "I’ve been putting a huge amount of preparation time, both in terms of working with the team and on myself.
"I’ve spent a lot of time learning the track and ensuring I know the little nuances of it, to know what it takes to go fast around there. I’m excited to get the season started and expect to be fighting for good points."
Hopes are high for the squad in Season 7 as its long-term technology partnership with ZF Friedrichshafen AG moves into its next phase.
This season, under the skin of the M7Electro is the first ZF-developed powertrain, implemented by a tightly-integrated team of Mahindra Racing and ZF engineers ahead of the 2020/21 campaign despite challenging circumstances in 2020.
The team has also innovated the car's transmission system, working in conjunction with Shell to develop a dedicated next-generation e-Transmission fluid for the M7Electro which enhances the unit's efficiency.