After 51 laps in the Monagasque principality, Nick Heidfeld celebrated third place on the podium while team-mate Felix Rosenqvist secured sixth place. The double-points finish is the best-ever result recorded by the team in the fully electric championship’s three-year history.
Nick Heidfeld started from eighth on the grid directly behind team mate Rosenqvist and, in what is becoming a signature move, overtook three cars under braking into the first corner. A tussle between competitors Nelson Piquet Jr. (NextEV NIO) and Jean-Éric Vergne (Teechetah) later on lap 22 ended Vergne’s race on the harbour side barrier in the swimming pool complex section of the track. The altercation promoted a well-placed Heidfeld to third and forced a safety car during the optimum car swap period.
Heidfeld’s podium, just three days after the German celebrated his 40th birthday, is his fourth in as many series on Monaco street circuits after Formula One in 2005, International Formula 3000 in 1998 and Formula Three in 1997. “It was awesome to go around on the outside at the start and gain three places from eighth place, but I had to make sure I wasn’t in a dangerous position for turn two and slot back in.
I was running quite safely in fifth place with not too big a gap to the guys in front, meaning I wasn’t tailing them when they made contact and benefited nicely. This promoted me to third, and while I couldn’t hold the pace of the leaders it was nice to see the cars in my mirrors getting smaller. You can never relax around Monaco and there are always a few late incidents but it’s great to finish on the podium”, said the German.
Meanwhile, Rosenqvist was able to move back into sixth position and held onto the points-scoring place despite a one-sided radio issue. Mahindra Racing reacted quickly to signal the Swede from pit wall to confirm his energy strategy mid-race.
“The race was good, but all the wrong things happened which was out of our hands. At the start, my plan was to be on the inside then everyone went on the outside, which no one thought would work but it did! After my pit stop I lost my radio in the second stint and couldn’t talk to the team, so we had to communicate through the pit board, which worked quite well in the end. Considering this, I’m quite happy finishing P6”, summarised the 25-year-old.
“A double-points finish is exactly how we wanted to start our comeback of consistently strong results, and we can’t wait to use the momentum in Paris next week”, added Team Principal Dilbagh Gill. The Indian squad travels to Paris third in the team standings, with only a few days to prepare for another tough challenge on the French cobbled streets around Les Invalides.