Formula E

Mahindra upswing in Tokyo: Müller scores 1st Formula E points in 2024 for ABT, Mortara disqualified after strong E-Prix performance

Tim Neuhaus

Tim Neuhaus

After four races without points, the Formula E race in Tokyo could be described as the first sign of life for the Mahindra powertrain in 2024. This weekend, one garage side each of ABT Cupra and Mahindra Racing showed that it does work. Nico Müller secured the first points of the season for ABT with a strong seventh place. Edoardo Mortara impressed with great pace, but was disqualified after the race.

Müller and Mortara already surprised positively in qualifying. Both made it into the duel phase - unlike their team-mates. Müller was beaten in the first duel against Sergio Sette Camara, but the other Swiss driver in Mahindra service made it through to the semi-finals. There he was eliminated by the eventual pole-sitter Oliver Rowland and the fastest lap of the weekend.

Nico Müller lays the foundation for European euphoria

Starting from seventh place, points were the declared goal for ABT Cupra. Müller and team-mate Lucas di Grassi fought hard for the top 10. After the Brazilian had to park his car in the pits following a collision, all eyes were on Müller from then on. With some good overtaking manoeuvres and a perfectly executed strategy, the German team was rewarded with its first points of the season.

"Good qualifying, good race and finally the first points with seventh place," said a satisfied Müller after the race. Nevertheless, he has a few regrets about his start. Perhaps he could have done even better: "If I hadn't got into a scrap after the start, we might have been able to finish in the top five," said the Swiss driver.

ABT CEO and Team Principal Thomas Biermaier praised Müller: "He kept his cool and scored the first points for our team and also for the Mahindra powertrain with a good strategy." Biermaier also wants to take the momentum with him to Europe: "It was nice to see that we were able to fight in the top 10 today - that's exactly where we want to continue in the first of three appearances in Europe."

Mortara with season-best performance & bitter disqualification

For the Indian Mahindra team, the race went even better over long stretches than for the customer team ABT. Edo Mortara was able to secure second place with a good reaction and plenty of grip at the start. He battled for the podium for a long time, but had to let Günther go in the course of the race and concentrate on his defence and energy. He lost some ground in the final laps due to the inefficiency of his Mahindra, but still crossed the finish line in sixth place.

The joy did not last long, however, as Mortara was disqualified shortly after the end of the race because his car had drawn slightly too much energy from the battery. As a result, Mahindra lost eight championship points and remains the only team without points after five races of the season.

Mortara speaks of a difficult race, but is satisfied with his own performance: "We know that we have a lower energy efficiency compared to the others, but we were able to keep up with the leading cars." The extent to which Mahindra and ABT can build on this upswing will become clear in Europe: Misano will be the next stop for Formula E on 13 and 14 April.

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