Pascal Wehrlein was left to rue a “critical” battery temperature issue on his Mahindra that ultimately cost him a chance of claiming his maiden FIA Formula E win in Santiago. 

The ex-Formula 1 driver starred throughout at the third round of the season and started on the front row of the grid following an impressive qualifying performance that earned him a first Super Pole appearance in just his second FE outing. 

Having gained a position when erstwhile race-leader Sebastien Buemi crashed out, Wehrlein mounted a late charge on Bird - using his attack mode with six minutes remaining in the race - but was forced to back off and settle for second after he was warned by Mahindra about critical rising temperatures in his M5Electro. 

“I was just starting to move into Turn 12, when the team told me I should slow and manage the gap behind as we were critical on temperatures,” Wehrlein explained. 

“I was pretty close and I wanted to finish the race! It was a bit of a shame and I was a bit angry in the car. 

“My emotions were mixed directly at the end of the race as I thought we could have taken the win and I wanted that win very badly but, with some time to reflect, I’m really happy and I’m delighted for everyone in the team. 

“The whole team is doing a fantastic job, the car is feeling great and these first races show how competitive we are.”

Wehrlein, who was taken out on the first lap in his FE debut in Marrakesh, has now moved up to eighth place in the 2018/19 drivers’ standings, while Mahindra sits second in the teams’ championship and 12 points adrift of Envision Virgin Racing following its third successive podium finish. 

“The team and I are a perfect fit and a perfect match,” Wehrlein added. 

“In the first race everyone was so kind to me and were saying what Jerome achieved I could’ve probably achieved as well. 

“They’re giving me a lot of trust, confidence and I want to deliver the best.”

Teammate Jerome d’Ambrosio endured a tough day after a poor qualifying left him 20th on the grid. While the Belgian recovered into the points, a post-race time penalty dropped him to 10th, meaning he conceded the lead of the championship to race-winner Bird. 

“I’m delighted to be on the podium for the third consecutive time in the three races we’ve had so far this season,” Mahindra team principal Dilbagh Gill said.

“Pascal is incredibly talented, managing both energy usage and tough conditions in the extreme temperatures we had, and I’m happy that he finished on the podium in only his second race. 

“It was a tough day for Jérôme, but he did a great job to bring the M5Electro home in the points after a difficult qualifying session. Our aim in Mexico is to get a pair of strong results - bring it on.” 

 

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