Mahindra ends dry spell with pace and points in Berlin

Mahindra Racing ended a four-race dry spell in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship with points for both Alexander Sims and Oliver Rowland at the Shell Recharge Berlin E-Prix from the city's Tempelhof Airport.

Sims made it through a dramatic qualifying Duels on Saturday, with the Brit progressing from a dead heat in the Semis up against Jean-Eric Vergne. Sims was a way ahead of the Frenchman but the DS driver reeled him in to an eventual 0.000s gap at the line. As Sims set it first, he went through.

From there, he made the final but narrowly missed out on Julius Baer Pole Position to Edo Mortara - the eventual race winner for ROKiT Venturi Racing. Sims wound up ninth, but points offer up some encouragement to go with the team's one lap pace heading into the second half of the season.

"It was a good job," said the 34-year-old post-qualifying. "From the first laps that we ran, I immediately had a nice feeling with the car and good confidence. We still had a few hiccups through the morning but it was nice to be in the Duels. It felt a little bit like my first Duel was was bang on and then it got a little bit worse from there. I'm a little bit frustrated with myself but we managed the front row so we can't be too upset."

Sims: 'Points and positive progress a boost'

Sims did slip back down the order through the race, fighting back during the second ATTACK MODE activation after falling away with a couple of drivers making it by the Mahindra driver at Turn 6. He did hold fast for points - his first score of the season and the team's first since Diriyah.

“I’m pleased to have a positive weekend – qualifying on the front row was a great feeling. As with all progress, there are bumps in the road and the race pace wasn’t quite where we want it to be, but we’re heading in the right direction and I’m looking forward to Jakarta.

"We adjusted brake-by-wire [and the improvement in brake feel] came from that. It's partly to do with setup but mostly those adjustments. They're the technical little things that can make a big difference and it feels we're working in the right direction."

Sunday was Rowland's turn. The 29-year-old has had a difficult time of it so far at the team he moved to ahead of Season 8. Points in Diriyah was the most recent high-point, with three retirements in-between that and Round 8's eighth-placed finish.

Rowland managed 10th in qualifying on Sunday, narrowly missing out on the Duels - much to his frustration, given the positive feeling he had in the car, and with Mahindra's single-lap pace there to be seen. 

The Brit made good progress from his starting berth to an eventual seventh - the Yorkshireman running as high as fifth at one stage and in constant combat with the likes of Antonio Felix da Costa (DS TECHEETAH) and Andre Lotterer (Porsche). Energy management became more of a priority towards the end and Rowland was forced into giving up two of those positions gained.

"I used up a bit too much energy after I'd made it past Antonio (Felix da Costa)," says Rowland. "Those two laps were a bit of a mistake on my part but I'm still very happy to score points. It was a good race for us and it's been a lot of work from the team to get here - it had been a long time since we'd been that good.

"We showed that we have a good car again and we were more consistent than we have been so far this season over the weekend.

“We made great progress again between Monaco and Berlin and the car felt fast all weekend. We still have a way to go to be where we should be in the championship but, at the midway point, I think we’ve turned the tables and are moving towards a position that reflects our talent and package. We should be looking towards the Duels in qualifying and see where we go from there."