With the news that longstanding Team Principal Dilbagh Gill would be stepping away from Mahindra Racing and Formula E, having been a fixture at all but two of the series' 100 races, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to look back at some of the team's best moments under his tenure.
Gill was a favourite in paddock, with his chest thumping, larger-than-life style an embodiment of his passion for the both team and the championship. A 16-year association with Mahindra culminated in him helming the Formula E operation, with the Indian outfit becoming an entrant from the groundbreaking maiden 2014/15 season.
In the eight seasons and 100 races since, he oversaw five wins - at the hands of Felix Rosenqvist, Jerome D'Ambrosio and Alex Lynn - and a best Teams' standings finish of third with 215 points, back in Season 3. Gill was also a key figure in the team becoming the first to commit to Formula E's next big leap - Gen3.
Here's the first of the team's memorable moments; Nick Heidfeld holding fast to secure Mahindra's maiden podium in the championship. The German had a couple of Dragons to contend with, the pair having more usable energy in-hand, so Heidfeld was forced into parking the bus and making his Mahindra extra wide as the race drew to a close.
He held on, though, and sealed the team's first silverware - having narrowly missed out at the Season 1 London finale with a fourth-placed finish by Bruno Senna.
The first win
Next up; Mahindra's first trip to the top step of the podium, with Felix Rosenqvist delivering a maiden race win in Berlin back in Season 3.
Team and driver couldn't hide their delight with the Swede striding across the line for his first win, as well as Mahindra's. On top of that, Heidfeld managed to bring the sister car home in third position for a double podium finish - another first for the Indian squad and a third trip to the rostrum for the German on the spin.
A day later, in race two, Rosenqvist had led the encounter until the Mahindras tripped over each other in the pit-lane, which saw the Swede slapped with a penalty for the indiscretion. With Sebastien Buemi right on his diffuser, the time penalty saw him slip to an eventual second place but what a weekend for the team.
Hero on home soil
Lastly; Alex Lynn's win on home soil in London at the end of Season 7. Lynn had secured Julius Baer Pole Position ahead of race one but couldn't quite convert as he slipped to third. Still, silverware and a strong drive - more than encouraging ahead of the second encounter on Sunday.
The Brit followed up a strong Saturday with third on the grid for race two. From there, Lynn was finally able to uncork the Moet & Chandon in Formula E at the Heineken® London E-Prix Round 13, four years after lining up for his debut E-Prix on pole position in New York City - and just a stone's throw from his birthplace in Romford; that winners' champagne must have tasted doubly sweet.
Race one had seen Lynn lead his first laps in the championship, from Julius Baer Pole Position. He ultimately slid to third but silverware showed he'd be in the mix for race two. Overnight, Mahindra learned a thing or two and for Round 13, Lynn and the team managed to put all the pieces together for an emotional and popular race win.
"It's really difficult to put into words to be honest," said Lynn. "After four years on and off in Formula E, always dreaming of one day maybe coming close to winning a race – it’s been a difficult one for me so to win is super special; it really is a dream come true. I’ve never felt anything like that. On Saturday, I led my first ever laps in the championship and on Sunday, managed to win - which is crazy."
In typical fashion, Gill struggled to contain his delight as the chequered flag fell and headed straight to the pit-lane to celebrate with Formula E Co-founder Alberto Longo as the pair embraced in a suplex.
Some day for the team, and a race that will live long in the memory for many - not least Dilbagh.
Published on 21st September 2022
3 min read