Pascal Wehrlein hoping to 'deliver the best' for 'perfect match' Mahindra Racing
Formula E rookie Pascal Wehrlein is hoping to "deliver the best" result possible for Mahindra Racing following his podium at the Santiago E-Prix, with the German driver describing both himself and the team as a "perfect match" for one another.
Wehrlein made his debut in the all-electric single seater series at the Marrakesh E-Prix two weeks ago, however, after getting struck from behind by Season Three champion Lucas di Grassi, was forced to retire, with his maiden race lasting just over one minute.
Putting Marrakesh behind him, Wehrlein headed to Santiago with confidence, qualifying in second place for the 45-minute + 1 lap race around the Parque O'Higgins Circuit after previously setting the fastest time in the group qualifying stages.
Starting from the front row of the grid, Wehrlein maintained second place for the opening stages of the race, dropping to the final step of the podium after being overtaken by Envision Virgin Racing's Sam Bird with 32 minutes of running remaining.
Deploying Attack Mode in retaliation to Bird's overtake, Wehrlein was unable to use the four-minute long 25kW power boost to his advantage, continuing to lap in third position.
Third became second for the driver when Sebastien Buemi crashed out from the lead with just under 16 minutes of racing remaining and despite still having one deployment of Attack Mode to his advantage, was unable to overtake Bird for victory, with critical battery temperatures forcing Wehrlein to drop back from the leading Briton, settling for second place.
"I was pretty close [to Bird]," said Wehrlein post-race. "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 - and I wanted to finish the race!
"It was a bit of a shame and I was a bit angry in the car. Out of the car… now it’s a good feeling.
"The team and I are a perfect fit and a perfect match. In the first race everyone was so kind to me and were saying what Jerome [d'Ambrosio] achieved I could’ve probably achieved as well.
"They’re giving me a lot of trust, confidence and I want to deliver the best," he added.
Wehrlein's podium in Santiago marked Mahindra's third consecutive top-three finish, with Jerome d'Ambrosio securing third in Ad Diriyah and taking victory in Marrakesh. This leaves the team in second place in the Teams' Championship with 59 points, trailing Envision Virgin Racing by 12 points.
"I'm delighted to be on the podium for the third consecutive time in the three races we've had so far this season," added Dilbagh Gill, Team Principal of Mahindra Racing.
"We haven't had the best of luck in South America but our fortunes turned around.
"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."
Formula E will return on February 16 for the Mexico City E-Prix.