Bertrand Mahindra FE has no “conflict of interest” in the undertaking. | Tech US News


Bertrand was announced earlier this week at Mahindra as the replacement for Dilbagh Gul, who stepped down from his position at the FIA ​​as director of Formula E and sports innovation projects.

It was seen in some quarters as controversial due to Bertrand’s involvement in supplying the third-generation ruleset for the 2022–23 Formula E season, as were former FIA officials Marcin Budkowski and Laurent Mackies for Renault and Ferrari respectively. Formula 1 had similar moves. Not without questions.

But new Mahindra signing De Grassi, who joins the team after a year at Venturi, says Bertrand’s appointment is a natural consequence of motorsport being a “small world” and as long as the rules are followed. No problem.

“We’ve seen it in many different ways in motorsport; it’s a very small world, so people go from one side to the other,” the 2016-17 Formula E champion told Autosport.

“Is it right that DS man? [Xavier Mestelan Pinon] Is the FIA ​​man now controlling the technical side, for example? He left and joined the FIA.

“And in Formula 1 you have people who leave teams and join the FIA ​​and some FIA ​​people join teams, that’s normal, that’s not unusual.

“What is fair and what is not fair is what is written in the rules. As long as there is no conflict of interest, it is fair.

“If there is a conflict of interest or some kind of advantage that is not clearly defined by the rules, that is also unfair.

“But as far as compliance and there are rules and there’s a limit to what you can do and how much you can grow that’s the same, it can’t be labeled unfair.

ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, Frederic Bertrand, Director Formula E, Innovative Sports Projects, Press Conference

ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, Frederic Bertrand, Director Formula E, Innovative Sports Projects, Press Conference

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

“People have the freedom to choose to go from one side to the other. That’s how I would approach it and I would say it’s also very common in motorsport so there is precedent in previous cases.”

De Grassi says he and Bertrand already have a strong relationship and predicts the Frenchman will bring an outlook within the team beyond his technical background.

He joked that de Grassi’s interest in Formula E rules and Bertrand’s involvement in maintaining them led to “funny fights” between the two.

“I have a great relationship with Fred because we’ve been doing this together since the beginning,” he added.

“I’ve known Fred for at least 10 years, always discussing technical rules with him, so we’ve had some fights, funny fights.

“I was like, ‘Why isn’t there four-wheel drive, why is this, why is this?’ And Fred at one point when he sees me, he’s like ‘Ah, Lucas is going to ask me about this whole thing again!’

“So we have had a good relationship all these years and it will be a pleasure to welcome him to the team.

“Fred knows the environment, he knows Formula E and he has a big picture of how a team should progress in Formula E. I think we need that at Mahindra.

“We don’t need a technical guy, we have very good technical people in particular. We need someone who can be evaluated and has good leadership.”


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