The Debrief: Mexico City

Maserati MSG Racing debriefs Mexico City supported by Hewlett Packard Enterprise  

Last weekend at the at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Maserati MSG Racing was at the forefront of a technical revolution as the FIA Formula E World Championship opened a new chapter for electric motorsport.

In the first race of the series’ Gen3 era, our Season 9 challenger, Maserati Tipo Folgore, took to the track for the first time, and narrowly fell shy of points after a hard-fought day of competition.

With lessons learned from critical data captured over the weekend, preparations continue for the next race of the campaign.

Using insights gained through solutions from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Maserati MSG Racing’s Jérémy Colançon and Alex Dardalet debrief the season-opener.

“Overall, Mexico City was quite difficult, and the key challenge we faced came from tire management,” explains Jérémy, Maserati MSG Racing’s Racing Director.

“The air and track temperatures at the circuit were much higher in comparison to the conditions we had in testing, and this meant that our performance was as not quite as we expected.

“In qualifying, it was difficult to get the new Hankook tyres in a good operating window and unfortunately, we also saw how important qualifying proved to be, because it was really hard to overtake during the race.

“We know that qualifying will play a huge role in races this season, and if we can get the car in the right window, it will give the drivers a lot more confidence to push the performance further.

“We have a huge amount of data from Mexico City, and we already have a good understanding of where we need to improve. I’m confident that we’ll be able to implement the right changes to have the good pace over one lap that we need at the next race in Riyadh, especially with strong technical solutions provided by HPE.”

Despite facing some challenges during qualifying, improved pace and performance yielded better rewards during the race, although early Safety Car neutralisations had some strategy implications.

“Mexico City definitely had a lot less overtaking in comparison to Gen2, but this was mainly impacted by the number of Safety Cars at the beginning of the race,” adds Alex Dardalet, Edoardo Mortara’s Race Engineer.

“Because we’re at the start of a new generation for Formula E, we were expecting some issues for our competitors, and therefore, had already taken it into account in our own strategy.

“The race neutralisations increased our real-time energy consumption targets per lap, and this meant that overall, we had less energy saving to do.

“This made it much more difficult to overtake, because all of the cars were close to running flat-out, although with insights from HPE, we were able to maximise our own energy deployment.

“I believe that these conditions were definitely specific for Mexico, but we will see what it is like in Diriyah – if we don’t have any Safety Cars, there will likely be much more overtaking.

“Like Jérémy said, because of the lack of overtaking, Mexico proved to be a good lesson that qualifying is even more important this year.

“This means that we’re going to focus a lot on our qualifying pace moving forwards so we can qualify higher and hopefully, challenge for the top positions.

“Although the weekend was not our most successful as a team, there is no need for us to change our approach. It doesn’t matter if we have a good weekend or a bad weekend, it’s just important that we understand our weaknesses so we can try to improve.

“It’s a long learning process, but moving forward, it’s business as usual. We need to learn what was good, what wasn’t and improve the car so we can get back to the front.”