Earlier today Mahindra Racing Formula E team announced the signing of Felix Rosenqvist for the 2016/ 17 FIA Formula E World Championship. The partnership will see the 24-year-old Swede line up alongside Nick Heidfeld as the team embark on their third season. JWGP caught up with Felix during the filming for the announcement of the team’s new partnership with Errea Sport.
JW: Felix, how much time have you spent behind the wheel of a Formula E car, what are your first impressions?
FR: In total I’ve been in the car for 8 days. Mahindra have a private test track just outside of Barcelona, we’ve been working flat out to maximise our time before the first group test at Donington Park. The level of dedication from the team has been incredible. We’ve been working from 7AM to 10PM on every day of testing. The team use a test car for private testing, I haven’t driven a Formula E car before so can’t really pass comment on changes from Season 2 to season 3, but the team seem very happy with the progress.
Driving a Formula E car is very different to Indycar or a DTM car, in those cars when you are doing 200 KMPH and come off the power it is almost like applying a brake. In a Formula E car, when you come off the power the car will just keep going. It feels counter-intuitive at first, but you soon get used to it.
JW: Have you spend much time with your team mate Nick Heidfeld? What are his thoughts on the M3Electro compared to last season’s car?
FR: Nick was around for 2 of the days I was testing. I think our driving styles will compliment each other. Nick is highly technical, focused on the fine details to optimise. Where as my approach is more toward making the most of the package I have. In bringing our styles together we should be able to push the team forward. With respect to progress from the team from S2 to S3, Nick has reported a positive step in performance. The first indication of this should be seen in Donington, but in reality the true pace won’t be seen until Hong Kong.
JW: What drew you to Formula E? Have you been following the series?
FR: Formula E represents a new and different type of challenge in motorsport. I have a good record around street circuits (most notably winning the 2015 Macau F3 race) The cars and frenetic approach to a race appeal to me. The racing has been enjoyable to watch. I’ve been impressed with the performances of Robin Frijns and Felix Da Costa, the other ‘younger’ drivers on the grid. I hop we are in a position to challenge the ‘old’ boys in this season.
JW: Does racing in Formula E rule out options in other championships for you?
FR: Not at all, I think of myself as a jobbing driver. I’ve been racing or testing almost every week this year. Racing in Indycar is still on the agenda, and DTM, whilst initially only for Moscow is still an option. I like to be busy, the Formula E calendar and race format allows me to be just that.
JW: Finally, what are your hopes for the Season with Mahindra Racing
FR: Until we start the group testing its impossible to know exactly who we are competing against. I hope to perform strongly and surprise a few of the established drivers.
Thanks to Felix for taking time out during his day with Errea Sport. Best of luck for the season ahead!