Mahindra Racing has roped in Frederic Bertrand as its new chief executive officer. He previously served as the FIA’s director of Formula E and Innovative Sport Projects, and replaces Dilbagh Gill, who parted ways with Mahindra Racing in September after nine years at the helm of the outfit.
- Bertrand recently resigned from his role in the FIA
- Replaces Dilbagh Gill
Frederic Bertrand announced as new Mahindra Racing CEO
Bertrand joined the FIA a decade ago as the head of the Federation’s Sporting Department, where he worked on strategy and development across a wide range of disciplines. He was then appointed director of FIA Circuit Championships – a position in which he was charged with structuring and promoting official FIA circuit racing series on an international scale.
In his role as director of Formula E and Innovative Sport Projects, he played a key role in the development of the all-electric racing series. Given that the teams enter an all-new Gen3 era in 2023, his appointment at Mahindra Racing could end up being a controversial move among the teams.
Bertrand will be based at Mahindra Racing’s headquarters in Banbury, England, and will report to chairperson Asha Kharga. “I am delighted and extremely excited to be joining Mahindra Group to lead its racing activities. I have been privileged to witness the growth of the Mahindra Formula E team and feel proud to have now been entrusted with driving the team to even greater performance and results. The coming months will be tough and will require a lot of hard work, but the goal is clearly to be on the pace in what promises to be an ultra-competitive field of manufacturers and teams. It is a new chapter and major challenge in my career, and I cannot wait to get started,” he said.
Big changes at Mahindra for Formula E Gen3
Mahindra Racing has been part of Formula E since its very inception. The team has tasted its fair share of success, however, they have struggled in the past few seasons. They finished eighth overall in Season 8 (2022), and had just one podium appearance, courtesy Oliver Rowland’s second-place finish in the Seoul E-Prix.
2023 will be a key year for Mahindra Racing. Not only will it see the new Gen3 race cars make their debut, but it will see Formula E race in India for the very first time, with the Hyderabad E-Prix scheduled for February 11. To turn around its fortune, the team has opted for a major overhaul. It parted ways with its former CEO and team principal Dilbagh Gill, and there’s a new driver line-up, too. Former Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi joins the team to drive alongside Rowland.
Additionally, ABT Sportsline will be Mahindra Racing’s first customer racing team. The deal will see Mahindra supply its ZF-developed powertrains to ABT, as the team returns to Formula E in 2023 after a year away. Both parties are also collaborating on software and development.
Considering the wealth of Formula E experience ABT has, it should be a fruitful partnership for both parties. And it will also give Mahindra access to an additional set of data.