Strong team performance from Maximilian Günther and Maserati MSG Racing goes unrewarded
Maximilian Günther and the Maserati MSG Racing team showed fighting spirit and strong morale at round two of this season’s ABB FIA Formula E World Championship in Diriyah (Saudi Arabia). Impact with the crash barriers in Friday morning’s qualifying session meant Günther’s “Maserati Tip Folgore” was unable to start the first race of the weekend on Friday evening. However, the German driver’s team produced a huge effort overnight to reassemble the Gen3 car in time for Saturday’s race, which Günther ended in 19th place.
Günther showed his comeback qualities in qualifying for race two at the 2.495-kilometre circuit near the capital Riyadh. Despite a lack of track time the previous day, he narrowly missed out on the quarter-final on the street circuit in Diriyah, which features 21 corners and is located near the historic World Heritage Site. In a field of 22 drivers, he started the 40-lap, floodlit night race from tenth place on the grid.
Once the sun had set, the temperature dropped to about 15 degrees Celsius and the race commenced under the light of 170 LED floodlight masts. The youngest race winner in Formula E history found himself defending tenth place against strong opposition from the word go. The Monaco resident climbed into eighth place on lap nine. In the middle section of the race, the 25-year-old successfully fended off a number of attacks from his pursuers, who were unable to pass him despite being able to use Attack Mode. A safety car phase on lap 27 saw the field bunch back together and ruined the team’s race strategy. Racing resumed on lap 31, heralding a nine-lap sprint to the finish. The bunched field made the battle for the points position all the more intense. The Maserati MSG Racing driver again gave it his all and showcased his talent. However, after a number of thrilling battles, the man from Oberstdorf’s car ran out of energy shortly before the finish line, meaning he eventually had to settle for 19th place.
Maximilian Günther: “It was a tough weekend for us. The locked wheel when braking in the first qualifying session, and the resulting crash, damaged my car so badly that I was unable to start Friday’s race. However, the team did a great job to repair the damage in time for the second qualifying session. The pace was not as good as we would like all weekend. By making many adjustments to the set-up of both cars, we did improve a little as the weekend progressed. However, our race speed was not as fast as we had hoped, which inevitably led to problems with energy management. It is now important to learn the right lessons, in order to be able to push hard again in the race in India. The season is still long and I have every faith in my team and myself.”
The third race weekend of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship takes place for the first time at the street circuit in Hyderabad (India) from 10th to 11th February 2023.