One podium, one pole position and one fastest lap – Felix Rosenqvist has enjoyed a strong start to electric life in the FIA Formula E Championship. Holding fourth in the overall standings after the first two races of the season, the Mahindra Racing rookie is eager to get back to business as the 2016-17 campaign resumes this weekend in the colourful Argentine capital of Buenos Aires following a three-month winter break.
“It’s really great to finally get back to racing this weekend,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “It’s been a long break and I’ve been missing the driving a lot; I’m fully recharged and can’t wait to get going in Buenos Aires. I’ve never been to Argentina, or any part of South America for that sake, so I’m expecting plenty of new experiences both on and off the track this time around.”
The first Swede ever to race in Formula E, Rosenqvist’s promising start to his maiden season in the all-electric single-seater series has seen him emerge as the leading rookie in the early stages of the campaign.
Vying for a top three result at the Hong Kong ePrix back in October until clipping a barrier and losing time before his pit stop, the 25-year-old fought back in the second half of the Asian season-opener to set the fastest lap of the race, and then went on to claim another two milestones at the following event in Marrakesh a month later as he delivered Mahindra Racing’s first-ever pole position in qualifying and took the chequered flag in third to bag a maiden podium.
Despite the early success, however, Rosenqvist refuses to get carried away as racing resumes in Buenos Aires – the only track to have featured in all three Formula E seasons to date.
“We’ve had a strong start to the season and the team has made me feel right at home from day one, but Buenos Aires is a different kind of challenge for me and it’s hard to say how that will affect us,” Rosenqvist continues. “The Hong Kong and Marrakesh tracks were both new to everyone, but from now on we’ll be going to a number of circuits where most of the others have been before. That could make life a little more difficult for me, but that’s what I’ll have to react to.”
In a bid to eradicate some of the hurdles that could face him in Saturday’s race, Rosenqvist has spent significant time preparing for the Buenos Aires ePrix with Mahindra Racing’s engineering staff. Four days of work fine-tuning the squad’s simulation tools have been coupled with thorough analysis of the 2,480 km Puerto Madero street track that hosts the event, and Rosenqvist is confident of having made his homework.
“I see Buenos Aires as potentially one of the most challenging races for me this year, so I’ve been extra careful in my preparations and have been working hard with the team to get everything right,” Rosenqvist concludes. “Energy efficiency will be crucial given the high temperatures we’re expecting, and I think we have a very clear idea of what we want to achieve and how to do it. The track might be new to me, but that’s normally not that big an issue and as long as we get the set-up right in practice, I’d like to think we can be up there again. We’ll see how it goes, but we’re all pushing extremely hard at the moment and everyone inside the team wants us to take another step towards our first Formula E victory.”
Saturday’s Buenos Aires ePrix takes place at 16.00 local time (GMT-03:00), with the weather likely to play an essential part in the outcome of the race amid forecasts of highly changeable conditions ranging from 35-degree heat to heavy rain.
All times local (GMT-03:00)
Saturday 18 February
Free Practice 1: 08.00-08.45
Free Practice 2: 10.30-11.00
Buenos Aires ePrix: 16.00
FIA Formula E Championship
After 2/12 races (top five)
1: S. Buemi (SUI), 50 p.
2: L. di Grassi (BRA), 28 p.
3: N. Prost (FRA), 24 p.
4: F. Rosenqvist (SWE), 19 p.
5: S. Bird (GBR), 18 p.