Exclusive: Wehrlein set to balance Mahindra FE drive with another series

His name has been linked with the F1 Toro Rosso seat, as well as various Formula E drives, however ex-F1 driver and former DTM Champion Pascal Wehrlein was confirmed to be joining the Mahindra Racing line up for season five of Formula E yesterday.

His partnership with Formula E veteran Jérôme D’Ambrosio has impressed many and it’s hoped that the new duo can continue the impressive form the team has managed over the past four seasons with three wins to their name.

However, speaking to katyfairman.com, the Formula E debutant revealed that part of the influence of singing with Mahindra was because he could participate in another motorsport series in addition to his Formula E drive.

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Vandoorne talks about his swap from F1 to Formula E

After the announcement last week that current McLaren Formula 1 driver, Stoffel Vandoorne, was to swap the world of F1 for the all-electric circus of Formula E, many motorsport fans were left in shock. However, the decision made to embrace electric has lead to him being part of one of the strongest team-mate pairings the sport has seen, with current DTM Champion Gary Paffett concluding the HWA Formula E Team line-up.

With his fresh commitment to Formula E, in addition to his existing racing contract with McLaren, Vandoorne only has two days of testing available to him in Valencia. A fact made even more unfortunate when his car suffered battery issues on the first day of testing, resulting in only a handful of laps being set all day.

“No, I don’t know what’s going on,” Vandoorne started when asked about his reliability woes on Tuesday evening to katyfairman.com. “It’s not been an easy day for us. I think it was always going to be a bit difficult for us. The whole team is new to this series, myself and Gary [Paffett] as well. We are all new. We knew that we would run through a few issues and I think it’s a shame not to be out there and be running but you have got to give us and HWA a little time. All the people working here are extremely competitive and extremely competent and I’m sure in the future, once we get up and running, everything will go well.”

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Is Formula E the most misunderstood motorsport?

Can we just start off with me holding up my hands and saying ‘I get it’.

The noise isn’t quite soul-shattering, the speed might not be breath-taking and the lack of an actual engine is an unappealing factor for many, however Formula E continues to attract not only devoted fans and well-respected drivers, but major manufactures are flocking to the sport in outstanding numbers. Not bad when you consider that the championship is just about to wrap up its third season at a double-header in Montreal this weekend. Despite it’s success both on and off track, Formula E still hasn’t made it as a ‘fan favourite’ just yet. There is no denying that the sound and the battery have meant fans just can’t engage with the sport in the way they would like to but looking past those subjects, Formula E is one of motorsport’s strongest series. Yes, it is no IndyCar or Formula 1 but it isn’t trying to be.

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