New Delhi: Mahindra Racing chairman S P Shukla feels the parent company`s involvement in manufacturing electric cars will help them become a force to reckon with in the FIA Formula E Championship beginning in September.
Shukla, on a day when Karun Chandhok and Brazilian Bruno Senna were named drivers of the lone Indian team on the grid, said the team is confident of a top-three finish in the world`s first fully-electric racing series. Ten teams of two drivers each will compete in the Championship.
"We have to think of a top-three finish. Being an electric car manufacturer, we are well placed for a top three finish. Hearing the country`s national anthem on the podium has to be our goal," Shukla told PTI from Mumbai referring to Mahindra`s electric car Reva.
All teams will have the same car in the first season but Shukla feels the group`s expertise in battery powered machines gives them an advantage.
"All team start from scratch but it is a big advantage for us that we are familiar with the electric technology. Battery life is limited in these cars so it is all about optimising the performance. Though we are to get the cars only in June, our simulation work has given us a fair idea of where we stand."
The decision on the drivers` line-up took longer than expected. Asked why Mahindra chose Chandhok and Senna for the job, Shukla said: "We select a team which compliments each other. Chemistry is very important in a team sport. We looked at 10-12 parameters for picking the drivers and we finally chose Chandhok and Senna, who know each other well and have raced together in the past."
The duo competed for the now-defunct F1 outfit HRT after its GP2 stint in 2008. All ten races will be held on the streets of world`s famous cities including London, Los Angeles and Monte Carlo.
"The product is an instant hit. Here the racing is coming to the cities unlike other series held on tracks built in the outskirts. People won`t have to travel to watch racing, it will come at their doorstep," said Shukla.