Former AlphaTauri driver Nyck De Vries has secured a multi-year contract with Mahindra in Formula E, a move set to make waves in the motorsport world. De Vries, who is expected to compete alongside Edoardo Mortara in the 2024 season, is poised to become a strong contender for the championship.
De Vries’s journey to Mahindra comes after his departure from AlphaTauri several months ago, following a string of underwhelming performances where he failed to secure any points during the first ten F1 Grands Prix of the year. However, his credentials as the 2020–21 Formula E World Champion may give him an advantage over his competition in the upcoming season.
Challenges lie ahead for both De Vries and Mortara, particularly with the M9Electro FE car. The vehicle struggled to keep pace last season and is set to undergo its first round of upgrades, albeit not until the early part of the season. Mahindra is compelled to stick with the Gen3 design for two years, a requirement stemming from the two-campaign homologation rule. Frederic Bertrand, the team principal, is optimistic about the prospects for 2024. He points to the infusion of new drivers and expert staff poached from the likes of Mercedes as a source of hope. Additionally, software upgrades to the car could potentially elevate the team’s performance to a more competitive midfield position.
Bertrand discussed the signing of De Vries and Mortara, revealing that a misunderstanding between him and De Vries temporarily delayed the selection process following the racing driver’s visit to the London E-Prix. He emphasized the importance of effective communication and synergy within the team.
“Honestly, we were still hesitating between going for rookies going or experienced drivers. [Also] what would be the wish of Lucas, so there were plenty of questions.
“We were slowly closing the few questions we had into some ideas. That’s how we came to the idea of having more experienced drivers than rookies.”
De Vries, displaying a pragmatic outlook, acknowledges the challenges of the 2024 season while maintaining an ambitious eye on 2025. He expressed his intentions, saying, “We’re well aware of what we can achieve in 2024, and our sights are set even higher for 2025.” De Vries’s determination and experience could prove to be invaluable assets as he and Mortara embark on their journey with Mahindra in Formula E, aiming to leave their mark on the championship.
“We had the first discussion quite early with Nyck after his F1 exit.
“I was explaining the project to tell him what we were doing, and I think he liked it. He also felt that the potential was there.
“But we had quite a silence after that, so I was thinking he was not interested. Then on his side, he was thinking I was not interested. It was quite funny that after that we had another discussion and he said, ‘you didn’t come back to me I thought you were not interested in me’. and I said ‘yeah, but you didn’t come back to us, so I thought you were not also interested in us!”
This alliance between Nyck De Vries and Mahindra has ignited anticipation within the Formula E community, as fans eagerly await the 2024 season to see how this powerhouse duo will fare in the electrifying world of motorsport.
“Mahindra has been always winning races in seasons and showing competitiveness.
“With changes that are in place, I really believe we can do the next step. But I think the key is to kind of unite together because it’s a long-term project for all of us that are involved and to give us the time and patience to build that.
“I have no doubt the foundations are there. I was very positively surprised and encouraged by all the plans that are and will be in place going forward.”