Formula E’s Mahindra Racing appoints Frédéric Bertrand as CEO

Frenchman stepped down as director of Formula E and innovative sports projects last week.
  • Numerous issues with Gen3 rollout saw Bertrand step down from Formula E role
  • Frenchman to officially succeed Dilbagh Gill next month

Formula E team Mahindra Racing have appointed ex-International Automobile Federation (FIA) director Frédéric Bertrand as their new chief executive.

The former director of Formula E and innovative sports projects was one of the key figures in the development of the 'Gen3' regulations coming into effect from next season.

However, numerous issues have arisen in the lead up to the introduction of Gen3, leading to Bertrand's resignation at the end of last week.

Problems have included a recurrent issue with the Gen3 rechargeable energy storage system (RESS) battery, with The Race reporting that several private test days have been cancelled as a result. The planned introduction of fast charging pitstops has had to be delayed as a direct consequence of the battery issue.

Having worked for the FIA since 2012, Bertrand has played a key role in the launch and development of Formula E. The knowledge he has accrued during his years shaping the all-electric series, especially with his involvement in the new generation of rules, means his appointment to Mahindra could prove controversial with rival teams.

Bertrand will officially begin his new role in mid-December, replacing former Mahindra chief executive Dilbagh Gill who stepped down in September. The Race reports that the FIA normally has a three-month notice period, making Bertrand's start date somewhat curious to Mahindra's rivals. That said, it would be unsurprising if this deal has long been agreed in the background due to the ongoing problems with the rollout of the new Gen3 regulations.

“We are delighted to welcome Frédéric to Mahindra Racing,” said Asha Kharga, chairperson of Mahinda Racing. “Frédéric brings with him an excellent combination of automobile industry expertise coupled with a specialised focus on motorsports.

“This is an exciting time, as we get into Season 9, which will feature the all-new Gen3 car. This is also an especially important year for Mahindra as a founding Formula E team. For the first time in Formula E history, India will host its first race in Hyderabad in February 2023. We remain committed to our electric mobility agenda, which is a strong marker of our sustainability credentials.”

Bertrand added: “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.”