The Nissan team will have to deal with challenges caused by the thin air at the high altitude race track
Nissan e.dams is taking its Formula E challenge to new heights – literally – after an impressive round in Chile, where the team started on pole and led two-thirds of the race.
This weekend’s competition at Mexico City’s Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is the highest on the ABB FIA Formula E Championship calendar, at 2.2 km above sea level. The low air pressure and oxygen levels present new challenges for the team: The lower the air pressure, the harder it is to cool the powertrain and battery of the team’s all-electric Formula E race cars.
While this is Nissan’s first Formula E season, the company already has a solid track record with regard to electric cars in Mexico. The Nissan LEAF, the world’s best-selling electric vehicle, went on sale in the country in 2014. Nissan recently launched the second generation of the LEAF, which is the first vehicle in Mexico whose purchase process can be carried out entirely via digital platforms.
Fans at the Mexico City E-Prix will be able to see the Nissan LEAF up close at Nissan’s display in the fan eVillage at the circuit.
Nissan became the first Japanese brand to join Formula E at the start of season five, which is being contested over 13 races in 12 cities around the world. Nissan is using the all-electric racing series to demonstrate the performance side of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the brand’s vision for changing how cars are driven, powered and integrated into society.
Nissan enters this weekend’s race with its driver Sebastien Buemi holding the best qualifying record in the championship after the first three rounds. His pole position in Santiago, Chile, was the first for Nissan in its debut season.
Buemi and teammate Oliver Rowland will be looking to build upon that performance this week during the compact Mexico City schedule, which features practice, qualifying and the race all in one day and eliminates the February 15 shakedown session.
“We had exceptional pace in Santiago,” said Nissan global motorsports director Michael Carcamo. “Now, our goal is to turn that pace into results in Mexico City. We’re very confident that a strong finish is just around the corner.
“We were in the top two in the opening laps in the first round. We were unlucky to be pushed wide in the first corner while running in the front pack in Morocco. And then, we started from pole and led the majority of the race in Chile.
“The level of competition in the championship is intense, but our outright pace has been very consistent. If we’re fast enough for long enough, the results will come our way.”
Nissan e.dams completed more virtual development miles in preparation for this weekend, with both drivers testing on the team’s simulator. Testing will continue on February 17 in Mexico City, with an official series test.