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Formula E Valencia Pre-Season Testing

Mahindra to be "compensated" for lost track time in Formula E testing

Mahindra Formula E team boss Frederic Bertrand has confirmed that his team will be given “compensated” running due to the impact of a battery fire in pre-season testing.

Edoardo Mortara, Mahindra Racing, Mahindra M9Electro

Three days of running at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Spain have been curtailed since Tuesday afternoon when a battery exploded in the garage of battery supplier WAE (formerly known as Williams Advanced Engineering).

Most of the blaze was contained inside the WAE garage by emergency services, but the neighbouring Mahindra squad were also impacted by the incident as crews tackled the fire.

As well as having to move garages, the team confirmed that damage occurred to its IT infrastructure, engineering stations and to both race cars.

The car used by ex-AlphaTauri Formula 1 driver Nyck de Vries has been put out of action due to water damage and the soot caused by the blaze, meaning only one Mahindra is in action for Thursday’s afternoon running ahead of a 10-hour session on Friday.

As a result, the team will be “compensated” for the lost track time with the chance to test between now and the opening race in Mexico City on 13 January.

“The agreement is that the time we don’t have with the second car will be compensated in a private session,” Bertrand exclusively told Autosport.

“The thing is we need to do it in a way that we can still send the car to Mexico, so quite quick, but on the other side we need the time to rebuild.

“And we know that anyway, some of the elements we need to re-prepare the team properly won’t be there before Mexico, maybe even later because you have a long lead time on some of the things we have to order and buy.”

Bertrand confirmed that it was important for the team to at least get one car back in action at the test in Valencia.

Running resumed on Thursday afternoon following an intensive investigation by the FIA and WAE into the battery fire.

Frederic Bertrand, CEO, Mahindra Racing

Photo by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

Frederic Bertrand, CEO, Mahindra Racing

“I would say even if we were able to run the two cars with the setup we have now we have a disadvantage anyway because you don’t do it with the plan you have in mind, with the tools you must have,” said Bertrand.

“But still we wanted to give a chance to have one car on the track, give time to the two drivers in that car so that they can also be part of the test, compare themselves to the others.”

The ex-FIA man also confirmed that other teams had been supportive following the incident, offering what equipment and help they could, with Bertrand keen that the test should resume once the FIA had given the go-ahead following its investigation into the fire.

“They [teams] were all in agreement that this was a disadvantage, and this would be unfair, so for that reason the consensus was quite quick on the idea that if we cannot run any car then we would have a test for the two cars somewhere,” said Bertrand.

“I didn’t want to impact the test because the test is important for the championship and it’s a moment where everybody has spent money to be here so to impose to everyone [to cancel the test], I think at a certain moment you come to a common sense.”

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