Mahindra has pulled off a technical coup by signing former Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains team leader Josef Holden as it continues to restructure its Formula E team.
Holden has already started his role as performance director at Mahindra, where he will be in charge of trackside performance for the UK based, Indian entered team.
Mahindra has been in the process of forming a new in-house team over the last year so that it can draw away from a reliance on working with external companies for engineering and operational purposes.
The team began its Formula E campaign in 2014 with Carlin Motorsport but quickly switched to the Spanish based QEV Technologies concern from 2015 until 2019.
Mahindra still uses some QEV affiliated staff on a consultancy basis – including Toni Cuquerella who will liaise with Holden initially before moving on to what Mahindra calls other ‘special projects’.
Prior to joining Mahindra Racing earlier this month, Holden was the leader of the Strategy and Power Unit Tools Group at Mercedes AMG High Performance for a number of years.
There, he collaboratively helped to achieve the most successful chain of double Formula 1 world championship titles on record.
Holden’s extensive experience in motorsport also includes engineering roles in Formula Renault 3.5 and a spell with the Marussia F1 team.
Mahindra team principal Dilbagh Gill described Holden as having “experience that will prove invaluable as we look forward to building on the many positives of last season and taking the team back to where it belongs: to the front of the grid.”
Holden stated that in his new role he will “pursue innovative ways to exploit data and engineering principles to push power unit performance boundaries with the ultimate goal: to win.
“The next chapter for me is to continue this pursuit with Mahindra Racing. Technology is forever marching forward and I strongly believe that Formula E leads the charge for the future of pioneering, high-performance motorsport.”
Mahindra finished the 2019/20 season as the ninth ranked team in the standings.
It was largely hamstrung following an issue with its gearbox in the early stages of the campaign that necessitated a change back to a 2018/19 powertrain for the final eight races of the season.
Despite this the team did achieve nine superpole appearances and five points scoring positions in the final six races at Berlin. The majority of these were gained by Alex Lynn, who is shortly expected to be confirmed at the team alongside ex-BMW signing Alexander Sims.
Lynn was brought in for the Berlin races after Pascal Wehrlein split with Mahindra ahead of his move to Porsche, while Sims will be replacement for long-time driver Jerome D’Ambrosio.
Mahindra has recently completed a move to a new headquarters in Banbury, UK, which features a design office and driver-in-the-loop simulator.