Despite a smooth three days testing at Donington Park, Nick Heidfeld remains cautious of reading too much into the strong performance.
Heidfeld finished the three days third in the overall classification – ahead of both Lucas Di Grassi and Nico Prost – with his fastest time on the final day of testing, but stressed that the positive times might not be representative.
“It’s nice to see our cars near the front of the timing sheets,” Heidfeld said. “On the other side, unfortunately, this doesn’t mean it will be like this for the rest of the season, but it would be worse to be right at the back. But we don’t know if the others are showing everything and testing at Donington isn’t a very representative Formula E circuit with street circuits coming up for the rest of the season.”
Mahindra encounted what Heidfeld called “minor problems” on the first day of testing, testing new code and a new steering wheel, but the problem was quickly cleared.
The car itself hasn’t changed much.
“It’s definitely nicer to drive,” Heidfeld said. “I always say that the base of the car is the same. It’s the same for everybody. We’re not allowed to develop a lot of parts on the chassis side. The drive train is a big step but in the end we’re still only allowed to use 200kW for quali and 170for the race so you won’t see a different car.”
The car might not be new, but the Mahindra driver line up is. European Formula 3 champion Felix Rosenqvist was confirmed as a driver for the Italian team ahead of public test.
Heidfeld said of his new team mate: “He did very good times this morning [24.08]. Second quickest. [He’s] very nice to work with.”
Rosenqvist finished the three days second in the overall timings, with only Jean-Eric Vergne finishing ahead of him. But, as Heidfeld pointed out, nothing can be known for sure until Formula E arrives at Hong Kong in October.
Image credit: Rob Balgobin