Disappointment for Maximilian Günther, despite best performance of the season as Formula E debuts in India

There is a clear upward trend for Maximilian Günther and Maserati MSG Racing: the driver from Oberstdorf showed an improvement in form, as the Indian city of Hyderabad hosted race four of the FIA Formula World Championship. After an impressive fifth place in qualifying, the 25-year-old was well placed towards the front of the field in the first part of the race. However, a collision involving three cars directly in front of him stopped him in his tracks and dashed any hopes of claiming his first points of the year. Günther eventually came home 13th.  

The fully-electric racing series was making its debut in the metropolis, which has a population of seven million. Günther exploited the potential of the “Maserati Tipo Folgore” in qualifying. In the battle for the best grid positions at the 2.835-kilometre street circuit, the German made it through to the knock-out stage for the first time this season and started the race at the demanding circuit from fifth place.

With the sun shining and temperatures around 37 degrees Celsius, the Monaco resident benefitted from his good starting position and kept a cool head in the Indian heat. Günther drove with great discipline at the start and was running fifth and established among the leading group as they wound their way through the 18 corners along the banks of the Hussain Sager lake. After a flawless first third of the race at the wheel of the Maserati, he pulled off the racing line to activate Attack Mode on lap 13. However, three cars then collided directly ahead of the youngest Formula E race winner of all time, stopping him in his tracks. Günther was stuck, through no fault of his own, and consequently lost valuable time. When he eventually got back up to race pace, he found himself down in 17th place. He responded to this set-back by showing great spirit in an action-packed race. That impressive fighting spirit saw him gradually climb his way back through the field. However, Günther was then thwarted by a safety car phase and a five-second penalty for exceeding track limits. The experienced Formula E driver came home 13th after 33 laps of racing.

Maximilian Günther: “Despite the new circuit and the challenges that brings, we managed to put ourselves in a good starting position as a team. Fifth place in qualifying was a big step forward. I find it hard to put into words how unlucky I was in the race. I made a good start and was able to manage my energy usage. Just as I was about to activate Attack Mode, three cars crashed in front of me. I felt completely powerless, because the cars were blocking the track. It is extremely disappointing, because there was great potential to do well in the race. We were managing the pace and energy really well. On the whole, we had a good weekend with Maserati MSG Racing. We are moving in the right direction, even if luck has not been on our side. However, we are doing our utmost to ensure the pendulum shifts in our favour at the next race weekend.”

Round five of this season’s ABB FIA Formula E World Championship takes place in Cape Town (South Africa) from 24th to 25th February 2023.