Mahindra Racing’s main challenge in Formula E is to reach another level, says team CEO Frederic Bertrand 

Frederic Bertrand, Team Principal and CEO of Mahindra Racing. (Image courtesy : Formula E)
Frederic Bertrand, Team Principal and CEO of Mahindra Racing. (Image courtesy : Formula E)

Frederic Bertrand, newly appointed CEO and team principal of Mahindra Racing, believes the team’s current challenge will be to propel themselves to the level of other manufacturers in Formula E. Speaking to Sportskeeda at the Mexican E-Prix weekend, the Frenchman outlined the challenges for the team in the upcoming seasons.

Bertrand explained:

“I think it has been super important from the beginning, the consistency. Because Mahindra has been in FE since the very beginning, even with the group there is an understanding of what Formula E is and how the championship can help the business, and how it can help in bringing technology from the track to the road.”
“But let’s say the big challenge we have now is to follow the overall manufacturers (competitors). We have very strong manufacturers within the field, with Porsche, Jaguar, the Stellantis Group (Maserati, DS automobiles), and all those manufacturers are investing quite significant amounts of money to be performant and to win. And we need to make sure that on the Mahindra side, people understand what has to be done to get on to that level. And that’s something which is getting into the mind, but it takes time to convince.”
“The good thing is we need to make things in the right order. I think we need to optimise the structure, start to deliver, get some good results and then we will get the enthusiasm growing, and it will get us additional support, additional partners.”

Bertrand, who was in his first race this weekend, believes Mahindra Racing will have to start delivering at the level of other manufacturers in Formula E. The Frenchman believes his immediate task will be to steer the team into aiming for championships and delivering better results. The Indian automotive manufacturer has been a permanent entity in FE since its inception but has not been able to finish higher than fourth place in the championship.

We are delighted to introduce and congratulate the new CEO of @MahindraRacing - Mr @Fred_Bertrand. We wish him good luck on the journey ahead! #RiseToLead #MahindraRise

Acknowledging Mahindra Racing's deficit to other manufacturers in terms of results, the newly appointed team principal stated the need to restructure and reorganize many aspects within the team to enable better performance and results. Noting the presence of larger manufacturers in the sport as competitors, Bertrand believes Mahindra Racing will have to step up its game to be able to attract more partnerships and support.

Explaining more about Mahindra Racing's current partners and the goals ahead, the Frenchman said:

“We have a very strong deal with ZF (Zahnradfabrik Friedrichshafen group), we have a very strong deal with Tech Mahindra on the internal side. So all this has to be grown and built in a way that people see more potential in the future and see that performance is coming. We have to show people that we can deliver and I am quite confident that people will be confident that we can deliver the results. We will grow in terms of investment and involvement of many internal and external partnerships and that will be the job. But this is clearly the challenge for Mahindra now, which is to be able to follow the trend, which is taking it to another level with all the big manufacturers which have joined.”

Mahindra Racing team principal believes he has a challenging task at hand with the team

Frederic Bertrand, who formerly worked with the FIA, was appointed as team principal at Mahindra Racing in November 2022. The Frenchman replaced Dilbagh Singh Gill, who has served as CEO and team principal of the Indian-owned Formula E team since its inception.

While he acknowledged the challenging task of steering the team into the future, he also admitted to being well-acquainted with the team and Gill while working with the FIA. Bertrand’s appointment ushers in a new era at Mahindra Racing, which has been a part of the electric racing series since the beginning, to become a fixture in the sport with more potential to grow in the future.

Asked about the challenges of stepping into Dilbagh Gill’s shoes, Bertrand replied:

“I am not sure I am filling his shoes because he has his own one and I will get my own ones.”
His 40th @FIAFormulaE podium. His first for Mahindra. 🏆🥳 Here’s to many more… #MexicoCityEPrix #P3

Upon taking over the baton from Gill, who led the Mahindra Racing team for a long time, Bertrand explained the pressure, saying:

“For sure it is a big challenge and a new challenge. The good thing is I had a very good relationship with Dilbagh in general. Because I know him. I was also here from inception from the organisational side and FIA side. We always had a good relationship between the two of us. So I would say it was quite easy to get into the team because I knew a little bit more on how he wanted the team and how he built it up.”
“But the main challenge is more on making sure we take the next step. Because he did a big work all along those years on building the team from zero to where it is and we are now a big structure with experienced people, a good lineup of drivers. So all this is in place. The question is how to make this package reach another level. And that’s the main challenge. Putting everyone in the condition, in being ready to move to the next step and that is the main part of the challenge.”

Acknowledging the groundwork laid by his predecessor, the Frenchman is optimistic he will be able to steer Mahindra Racing in a new direction in the future. While he was nervous about his first race weekend as he spoke to Sportskeeda, Bertrand was overjoyed to see his team succeed in the season opener, where Lucas di Grassi clinched pole position in qualifying and secured third place in the race.

Quick Links

Edited by Anurag C
Be the first one to comment