Maximilian Günther produced a solid and promising performance in every session at round nine of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, which took place at Portland International Raceway in the state of Oregon. After showing good pace in the free practices and qualifying fifth, the 25-year-old German was on course for a podium at times. He eventually crossed the finish line sixth in his Gen3 car at the end of an eventful race.
The 3.190-kilometre IndyCar circuit is the fourth new track on the 2023 Formula E calendar, following Hyderabad, Cape Town and São Paulo. The race in the northwest of the USA was the final overseas outing for the electric racing series, before it returns to Europe for the final races of the season. Günther was second fastest in FP2 on the track in the shadow of Mount Hood, which stands at 3,425 metres above sea level. And the German was again among the front-runners in the hunt for the best grid positions in qualifying. A lap time of 1:09.160 minutes in the semi-final earned the racer from the Allgäu fifth place on the grid and a good starting position for the subsequent race.
With the sun shining and temperatures reaching around 28 degrees Celsius, the man from Oberstdorf got off to a solid start. Although he lost one position, he was initially able to defend sixth place. The Maserati MSG Racing drivers was repeatedly involved in exciting skirmishes on the permanent racetrack in Portland, resulting in multiple changes in position. On lap eight, Günther activated the “Attack Mode” on his “Maserati Tipo Folgore” for the first time. With the extra power, he was able to climb a number of places and actually found himself third for a while. The Monaco resident always kept a cool head in an eventful race, which included several safety car phases, and was able to hold his ground. Günther activated the extra power again on lap 17, after which he remained on course for a podium finish. The following laps produced many thrilling battles and some spectacular motorsport. Unfortunately, Günther was forced off the track during one such battle on lap 28, resulting in him dropping back to ninth place. The German showed his fighting spirit over the remaining laps and had battled his way back to sixth place by the end of the 32-lap race.
Maximilian Günther: “All in all it was a good weekend. We were up there with the frontrunners in every session and I was within range of a podium result for much of the race. Unfortunately, I came off the track during a battle shortly before the finish and lost a few places. That is obviously very frustrating, but it is part and parcel of motorsport. Up until then, we had had a good race. I tried to make the best of the situation and finished in the points in sixth place. Generally speaking, it was a good weekend. That gives us important confidence for the rest of this season’s races. All in all, I am satisfied.”
The tenth race weekend of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship takes place on 15th and 16th July 2023 in Rome (Italy).