Monaco, 10th May 2015. It was a day filled with mixed emotions for the Mahindra Racing Formula E Team in Monaco with a race which saw Bruno Senna crash out in the opening corners in a huge unforced accident which sent him airborne. The Brazilian racer had been the fastest man in the second FIA Formula E Championship practice session this morning and had lined up seventh on the grid following a competitive qualifying session– showing huge promise for the afternoon. However the race wasn’t to be for either Senna who crashed out nor Karun Chandhok who took the flag in 13th overall.
This morning was filled with promise for the team having taken their FIA Formula E Cars around the principality for the very first time. In the second practice session this morning Senna was the quickest man on track as he charged around the shortened Monaco ePrix circuit. Chandhok was also looking strong during the session having completed a string of race runs which were providing positive results.
Chandhok and Senna’s qualifying groups had been decided earlier in the day and it was to be Chandhok who would head out on track first before Senna would take his position in the second group. Qualifying was a mixed bag with Senna set to line up in seventh while Chandhok was forced to start at the back of the grid for changing his battery earlier in the week.
Off the line as the race begun the real drama started to unfold. Having found himself squeezed as he exited the first corner Daniel Abt was cornered in to the wall ahead of Senna who in turn had nowhere to go and ended up in the air as his car launched over the Abt Racing car. Coming back down with a force the front end of his car was destroyed and he was destined to retire from the race.
Chandhok, with his position further down the grid providing solace, managed to keep well clear of the carnage ahead and made his way through with little problem. The rest of the race however was a case of being caught in traffic and therefore unable to make positions around the tight street circuit. Despite fighting hard to gain position on Jarno Trulli ahead of him Chandhok had to settle for 13th as the flag fell.
Reflecting on the race Chandhok said, ‘It was a bit disappointing today overall because we had good pace and knew we should have been higher up. The start of the race was eventful with the accident but I managed to get through it. However despite being quick in the race I was stuck behind Jarno Trulli and couldn’t overtake so we finished where we finished. But here we did look competitive which is a positive to take away from the weekend.’
Senna added, ‘There isn’t a lot I can say about the race. The circumstances weren’t right and it was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the accident. Of course it’s a shame because I was quick in practice and competitive in qualifying as well.’
Team Principal Dilbagh Gill said, ‘This was a disappointing race for us. We had looked strong this morning and had hoped to turn the season around with the first European race however an incident that was completely out of our control has impacted our progress. Bruno is not hurt which is the main thing and the mechanics will get the car fixed and ready for the next race, but after his pace this morning admittedly we are all disappointed. Chandhok was also unable to get the most out of Monaco finding himself caught in traffic. We look forward to fighting back strongly in Berlin.’Published 10 May 2015, 15:33 IST