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Günther Victory Makes Motorsport History For Maserati In Formula E - Round 11 - 2023 Gulavit Jakarta E-Prix Report
Jakarta: Maserati MSG Racing driver Maximilian Günther converted a second consecutive Julius Bär Pole Position into the race win in Jakarta, returning Maserati to the top step of the podium in single-seater motorsport for the first time since 1957.
The second race of the 2023 GulaVit Jakarta E-Prix double-header saw German Günther claim his fourth win in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship and his first in the iconic blue livery of legendary automaker Maserati. The last time the trident was seen on the top step of a single-seater championship was in 1957 when the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio won the German Grand Prix on his way to that year’s Formula One title. Günther was followed home by Jake Dennis (Avalanche Andretti Formula E Team) who started and finished second in both races on Formula E’s return to Indonesia. The points haul moves Dennis to within just one point of standings leader, Pascal Wehrlein (TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team).
Following a dramatic first race in which he was hit by his own teammate, leaving the Jaguar TCS Racing team pointless on the day, Mitch Evans recovered superbly to produce a classy defensive drive and round out the podium places in third. Envision Racing’s Nick Cassidy lost his championship lead to the previous day’s race winner Pascal Wehrlein – who finished sixth – after an ill-judged overtake led to contact and a point-less day. Cassidy now trails Dennis by five points with six points separating the top three drivers in a hugely tight tussle for the title. With Günther starting pole for the second day, the young German was looking to turn a promising Saturday drive and podium into his fourth race victory and he looked assured from the off as he held position in the opening stages. With a clear race strategy, he appeared happy to hold fire behind Dennis once the Brit had taken the lead through the first round of ATTACK MODE activations. The telling switch came as Günther held off on his second jolt of ATTACK MODE when Dennis blinked first. The German was able to generate a gap enough to leapfrog the Avalanche Andretti driver by the time he made the dive for his final 50kW boost on Lap 18.
The Maserati MSG Racing driver was able to stretch to a lead of 2.822 seconds on Dennis by the chequered flag and more than 18 seconds on Evans. Nobody had won by more than two seconds in the GEN3 era since Dennis' season-opening victory in Mexico City and that margin was the largest in the last 10 rounds. Drama struck the standings leader Cassidy who had only failed to score once this season, with 13th in Diriyah, but he made a costly slip in trying to pass title rival Wehrlein on Lap 20. His car damaged, he was shuffled to the back of the pack and 19th position. The Nissan pair of Sacha Fenestraz and Norman Nato made late-race progress to seal fourth and fifth from seventh and 12th on the grid, respectively. Fenestraz’s move on reigning champion Stoffel Vandoorne (DS PENSKE) caught the Belgian unawares into the hairpin, with his teammate Nato able to follow. That pass saw Vandoorne fall back to an eventual ninth as Wehrlein, António Félix da Costa (TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team) and Edoardo Mortara (Maserati MSG Racing) were able to ease past for sixth, seventh and eighth. Envision Racing's disappointing afternoon saw only a point head their way, with Sebastien Buemi rounding out the top 10.
TAG Heuer Porsche lead the way in the Teams' standings with 212 pts, pulling further clear of Envision Racing who sit on 190 pts with Jaguar TCS Racing third on 171 pts. Five races remain in Season 9 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship with the next stop on June 24 a fourth debut city for the series this season - the 2023 Southwire Portland E-Prix.
Maximilian Günther, No. 7, Maserati MSG Racing, said: “Very proud moment, I am over the moon with this victory - already yesterday was great with another podium. We have made such good progress over the past couple of races, it is fantastic, and to take my first win here in Jakarta is outstanding. I am just so happy.
“We felt really good from FP1 onwards, so the package is working here it was just about executing it and keep shooting in the right direction. We always took the right decisions this weekend. Yesterday we didn't have enough, but today we did. It is just amazing.
“In Formula E you always need to keep your feet on the ground, like life in general! It can change so quickly, I am just really enjoying this moment here, I know there will be tracks that suit us more, there will be tracks that suit us less. We try to always maximise our package, that is what we have been doing the past few races. I am very proud.”