Maximilian Günther made a mixed start to the eighth season in the Formula E World Championship. At the first double-header of the year in Diriyah, just outside the Saudi Arabian metropolis of Riyadh, the 24-year-old missed out on a points finish for the Nissan e.dams team, crossing the line in Friday’s first race in twelfth place and finishing 14th on Saturday. The safety car prevented Günther from recording a better result in both races.
In qualifying for the opening race, Günther produced a good performance on the 2.495-kilometre street circuit, just missing out on a quarter-final appearance under the new system to determine grid positions. This meant that the Nissan driver started Friday’s 45-minute night race from ninth place. A total of 170 LED floodlight masts placed along the circuit and its 21 turns provided plenty of light. Günther made a good start and moved up two positions. The safety car appeared on track after an accident as the driver from Oberstdorf in Germany activated his first Attack Mode, putting paid to his attempt to attack the front-runners. Günther was unable to keep pace after the restart, losing valuable places and slipping out of the points.
The safety car once again stood in the way of a better finish at the second race of the season-opening event. Günther was in 14th place, within striking distance of the drivers ahead of him. The safety car was sent back out onto the track again just ten minutes before the end of the race, preventing any further overtaking manoeuvres before the finishing line was reached.
Maximilian Günther: “The first race weekend of the year was not easy for us. Actually, the pace and energy management were good. However, we had some challenges to deal with and these ensured that we didn’t finish in the points at the end. The team did some great work, and I am very grateful for their efforts. We know what we have to work on to make sure that things go better next time. So, I am very confident ahead of our trip to Mexico.”
The second race weekend in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship takes place from 12th to 13th February in Mexico City.