Felix Rosenqvist bagged a solid points score in Saturday’s Formula E Monaco ePrix, overcoming numerous hurdles in the principality to finish in sixth place.
Driving on the streets of Monte Carlo for the first time in car racing – having only competed at the famous venue once in karting back in 2006 – Rosenqvist showed early signs of aptitude to go fourth fastest in opening free practice, despite crashing out in the closing minutes of the session as he clattered the back of British rival Oliver Turvey in a confused situation at the Nouvelle chicane.
Quickly recovering from the early setback, the Mahindra Racing rookie carried his promising pace into qualifying, missing out on the top five Super Pole cut by just fractions of a second to line up sixth on the grid for his first-ever Monaco ePrix.
After surviving contact at the start, Rosenqvist then came home in the same position, having staged an entertaining battle with 2014-15 Formula E champion Nelson Piquet Jr. (Brazil) and Germany’s Maro Engel over fourth place in the second half of the race – with just half a second covering the trio at the chequered flag.
“It’s nice to be back in a solid points-paying position again, even though to be honest most things seemed to work against me today,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “There was definitely more potential in the car, so I can’t be elated with sixth place, but it’s still a decent result given the circumstances. It was also my first time driving a single-seater in Monaco, and it’s been a fantastic experience!”
Adding to Rosenqvist’s challenge, the Swede had to complete the second part of the race without a functioning radio, leaving him at a significant strategic disadvantage in a championship where driver/team interaction is key.
“Communication really is crucial in Formula E, so I was actually quite worried when the radio didn’t work following my pit stop,” Rosenqvist concludes. “I couldn’t get any information from the team, so we had to rely on the pit board instead and just do our best. In the end, it worked out alright and I was quite a lot quicker than the guys ahead of me, but overtaking is very difficult around here. Overall, it was a good day for the team and I’m pleased to see our hard work paying off with a double points finish.”
The race was won by championship leader Sébastien Buemi (Switzerland), while Mahindra Racing celebrated a strong overall result as Nick Heidfeld (Germany) became the first driver to score podiums at Monaco in both Formula 1 and Formula E.
Felix Rosenqvist now sits seventh in the championship standings, with the next ePrix coming up already next Saturday (May 20) in the French capital of Paris.
RESULTS (top five)
FIA Formula E Championship
1: Sébastien Buemi (SUI), 51 laps
2: Lucas Di Grassi (BRA), +0.320s
3: Nick Heidfeld (GER), +13.678s
4: Nelson Piquet Jr. (BRA), +19.074s
5: Maro Engel (GER), +19.518s
6: Felix Rosenqvist (SWE), +19.599s
CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (top five)
FIA Formula E Championship
After 5/12 races
1: Sébastien Buemi (SUI), 104 p.
2: Lucas di Grassi (BRA), 89 p.
3: Nicolas Prost (FRA), 47 p.
4: Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA), 40 p.
5: Sam Bird (GBR), 34 p.
7: Felix Rosenqvist (SWE), 28 p.