At the end of a successful 2017 motorsport season, a special treat is in store for Maximilian Günther. The 20-year-old from the Allgäu region is to make his debut in FIA Formula 2, the tier of racing directly below the Formula 1 World Championship. With the support of his partners at BWT, Günther has the opportunity to gain initial experience in a 612-horsepower single-seater racing car during the FIA Formula 2 official test days in Abu Dhabi.
Günther will be driving from 30th November to 1st December for Racing Engineering, which has long been one of the world’s most successful junior teams. In the 2009 and 2013 GP2 (i.e. the name by which the series was previously known), the Spanish team won the drivers’ championship. In 2015 and 2016, Racing Engineering finished as runners-up in the team classification.
Following his recent Top Five finish in the Macau Grand Prix in China, Günther travels to Abu Dhabi, where the closing races of the 2017 Formula 1 and 2017 FIA Formula 2 series were contested last weekend. It will be his first outing on the spectacular Yas Marina Circuit where races usually end under floodlights.
Günther will make use of the official tests at the end of the FIA Formula 2 season to familiarise himself with the single-seater car powered by a 4-litre V8 engine. Tyre management will be a crucial factor. As in Formula 1, Pirelli supplies FIA Formula 2 with different compounds. The talented newcomers to the best-known junior series in the world will have the opportunity to learn the correct handling of the Pirelli tyres in order to be optimally prepared for Formula 1.
For Günther, this will be the third different racing car he has driven this year. Before making his FIA Formula 2 debut, he drove a 240bhp F3 racing car in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. After lifting the runner-up trophy in the 2016 campaign, he finished last season in third place. As official test and substitute driver to the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM Team, he also tested in the over 500bhp DTM car in October of this year.
Max Günther: “I’m really excited about driving my first laps in a Formula 2 car. As an experience, it’s going to be really cool, and I’m grateful to Racing Engineering and BWT for this opportunity. I would like to make thorough use of my two test days in Abu Dhabi to familiarise myself with both the car and the tyres. This will be a new challenge in two ways, but I feel well prepared for it. FIA Formula 2 is the direct springboard to Formula 1, and I intend to give as good account of myself as possible in the tests.”