Maximilian Günther finishes just outside the points as Formula E debuts in São Paulo
It was a mixed weekend for Maximilian Günther and Maserati MSG Racing at the premiere of Formula E in São Paulo (Brazil): the man from Oberstdorf produced a very strong performance in the free practice sessions at round five of this season’s ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, and actually set the second fastest time of all 22 drivers on Saturday morning. Having once again made it through to the head-to-head duels in qualifying, 25-year-old Günther started from ninth on the grid as a result of a retrospective penalty from the race in Cape Town. At the end of an eventful race with several safety car phases, Günther brought his Gen3 car home unscathed in eleventh place.
The metropolis of São Paulo, with its population of 12 million, was hosting a Formula E race for the first time. The track, which also wound its way through the world famous “Sambódromo”, is one of the fastest on this season’s calendar. In qualifying, Günther was in the thick of the battle for the best starting positions and, for the third time in a row, made it through to the quarter-finals. His lap time of 1:12.189 minutes for the 2.933-kilometre circuit earned the German ninth place on the grid.
Glorious sunshine and temperatures around 35 degrees Celsius made for really hot conditions in Brazil. However, Günther kept a cool head at the start on the narrow track, fending off the attacks of his rivals without picking up any damage and maintaining ninth place. The race at the high-speed circuit, which features eleven corners, was a tactical affair and demanded very good energy management. The youngest Formula E race winner ever was able to call on his wealth of experience here. After exciting battles and many changes of position, the long-term Formula E driver crossed the finish line eleventh after 35 laps of racing.
Maximilian Günther: “Our pace in practice and qualifying was very good. The race began extremely turbulently, but my car remained unscathed. Unfortunately, the race did not develop in our favour and I am obviously not happy to finish outside the points. We must now analyse what we can do better.”
The sixth race weekend of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship takes place on 22nd and 23rd April 2023 in Berlin. The fully-electric racing series will stage two races at Günther’s home event in Germany.