The joy was huge. Maximilian Günther and the Maserati MSG Racing team made it onto the podium on Saturday, when Berlin hosted round six of this season’s ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. The 25-year-old, who has three Formula E victories to his name, ended the opening race of his home E-Prix in third place to present Maserati with its first podium with a single-seater car after 66 years of involvement in motorsport. The man from Oberstdorf also performed strongly in Sunday’s race, showing plenty of fighting spirit to climb an impressive 15 places and cross the finish line in sixth place.
After setting the fastest time in the second free practice session on the 2.355-kilometre street circuit in the German capital, Günther progressed to the quarter-final in qualifying for the Saturday race. A lap time of 1:05.878 minutes earned the German eighth place on the grid. In the race, Günther immediately made up a number of positions in his “Maserati Tipo Folgore” and already found himself in the podium positions by lap three. The rest of the race produced some thrilling wheel-to-wheel battles and multiple changes of position. The Monaco resident even led the race briefly on lap 19. Another safety car phase shortly after came at a bad time for Günther: the youngest race winner in the history of Formula E had just activated his Attack Mode, which he was then unable to use behind the safety car. After some spectacular scraps, the closing stages were particularly eventful. Günther found himself in fourth place on the final lap, hot on the heels of the car in front. He then pulled off a fantastic overtaking manoeuvre as they sprinted to the finish line for the final time, and ended the race in third place in front of the jubilant home fans.
The conditions were more difficult on Sunday: Günther qualified 21st on a wet track. The weather cleared up before the race, and sunshine made for temperatures around 14 degrees Celsius at the former Tempelhof Airport. An exciting race saw Günther stay clear of the skirmishes involving his rivals and, starting from 21st on the grid, produced a disciplined drive to gain one position after another. After a sensational fightback, he had climbed into fifth place by lap 24. In the end, the Maserati MSG Racing driver came home sixth. His fighting spirit was also rewarded with the fastest lap of the race and the title of “Driver of the day”.
Maximilian Günther: “It is an indescribable feeling to claim the first podium of the season at your home race. I am very proud of what I have achieved together with my team. I wanted to drive a flawless race, and I did precisely that. The feeling of standing on the podium in front of my home fans is something I will not forget for a long time. Qualifying for Sunday’s race meant I started from a difficult position. However, I was patient, never gave up and gained a lot of positions. For this reason, I am also happy with the result of race two. We scored some points this weekend. That is very important for morale and the team. We want to take this momentum into the race in Monaco.”
The seventh race weekend of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship takes place in Monaco on 6th May 2023.