Formula E: Dominant Max Günther & Maserati MSG Racing win Sunday race in Jakarta
Max Günther topped off his exceptional Formula E weekend in Jakarta with victory in the Sunday race. The German dominated the rest of the field and gave Maserati its formula racing victory since Juan Manuel Fangio in 1957. Jake Dennis and Mitch Evans completed the podium. Since Nick Cassidy came away empty-handed, Pascal Wehrlein regained the world championship lead in sixth place.
Even before the start, there had been two bad news: First, Sergio Sette Camara had to be wheeled back into the pitlane. "We currently have an intermittent electrical problem with car No. 3. Our team is working flat out to resolve the issue," Nio 333 reported via Twitter. However, Sette Camara was unable to take the start. Then Jaguar also had to react at short notice: Two mechanics pushed Sam Bird's car backwards through the grid back to the pit lane. The Briton also didn't manage to start the E-Prix.
Then it was off to the races for everyone else. As on Saturday, the left hand side of the grid got a much better launch. Günther was thus able to defend his lead without any problems. Jake Dennis closed the inside lane early on against Stoffel Vandoorne to defend P2. Mitch Evans finished the first lap in third position ahead of Sacha Fenestraz, who gained a place against Vandoorne. Pascal Wehrlein lost one place to Edo Mortara and was therefore only seventh. There were no accidents in the starting phase.
Günther became the first driver in the lead group to get his first of two attack modes on lap 4, dropping to third behind Evans. One lap later, Dennis did the same to him, but returned to the racing line ahead of Günther! Evans thus took the lead ahead of Dennis and Günther, but only for one lap before activating attack mode himself. He was then third again, with Dennis now taking the lead. Fenestraz lost two positions to Vandoorne and Mortara, who now completed the top 5.
DNF after wall contact for David Beckmann
On lap 7, David Beckmann had to pit with damaged suspension his Andretti. He had tangled with Lucas di Grassi in turn 16, crashed sideways into the TecPro barrier and had to retire the car. On lap 9, Evans attacked Günther in turn 1 and passed the Maserati driver. At the same time, Mortara also made a lunge on Vandoorne's DS directly behind. The Maserati drivers were now in positions 3 and 4.
One lap later, Günther countered with a spectacular attack against Evans, ultimately prevailing over the Jaguar driver. This put him right behind the leader Dennis again. The spectators in Jakarta witnessed a fiercely contested and exciting opening phase.
Wehrlein stayed out of everything until then and followed Fenestraz, who was the only driver in the top 10 with a slight energy disadvantage. Günther, meanwhile, continued to put pressure on Dennis and showed himself time and again. Mortara did similarly against Evans.
Sebastien Buemi tangled with Jake Hughes in the battle for 11th place. A few car parts flew through the air, but apparently neither car took any major damage. Jean-Eric Vergne, on the other hand, suffered damage to his front wing and suddenly dropped back after 14 laps. He headed for the pits, had his front wing replaced and returned to the track. On lap 15, Dennis activated his second attack mode for a duration of six minutes. He fell behind Evans, but now consequently put pressure on the New Zealander.
Championship leader Cassidy crashes
One lap later, Günther spotted his chance because Dennis had lost some time behind Evans. He drove through the attack zone and got back on the track ahead of Dennis! Evans now led the field again and slowed down the train behind him. When Günther went off the power pedal early at the end of the start/finish straight to recuperate energy, Dennis attacked. He moved up alongside the German but ultimately stayed behind. Evans also activated his attack mode and dropped back to third - Günther back in front.
Then came the big shock for Envision: world championship leader Nick Cassidy crashed and initially stopped on the track with a damaged front wing. He misjudged his position when braking before the penultimate corner and touched Wehrlein's rear wheel with his front wing. This caused his wing to break. Cassidy pitted a short time later and was able to continue after a brief stop. Nonetheless, the incident would have a significant impact on the championship, as Cassidy was 18th.
Vandoorne made a spirited maneuver to pass Wehrlein, who was now driving in 5th position. Buemi again had contact with a McLaren as he returned from the attack zone, this time with Rene Rast. Neither car took damage and Buemi remained in front in tenth. The leading group pulled away at this stage of the race: Günther led by 2.7 seconds from Dennis on lap 28. Evans followed nearly seven seconds behind Günther.
Vandoorne drops back
Mortara suffered a braking incident in turn 1 that dropped him to ninth. At least he just managed to avoid the car in front of him. The two Nissan drivers Fenestraz and Norman Nato thus moved up to 6th and 7th place. Günther further extended his lead. Behind Dennis, the gap to Evans was also increasing, who was busy holding off the cars behind him. Wehrlein activated his second attack mode and dropped back to 7th.
On lap 33, Fenestraz launched an attack on Vandoorne and grabbed 4th place, while his teammate Nato also benefitted and passed the Belgian. He even got alongside his Nissan teammate for a few seconds, but ultimately had to sit back. On the long straight, Wehrlein also got alongside Vandoorne and overtook him in turn 1. A little later, the DS driver lost more positions to Antonio Felix da Costa, Mortara and Dan Ticktum. In a matter of just a few moments, Vandoorne had dropped to tenth.
Wehrlein first showed up in Nato's rearview mirror on lap 35 of 38. However, his attack mode expired and he initially remained behind the Frenchman. Race organizers announced that, just like on the previous day, the E-Prix would not be extended by additional laps. Günther continued to lead by around three seconds. Dennis, for his part, was now 14 seconds (!) ahead of Evans. Günther inquired on the radio whether he held the fastest lap. Maserati answered in the negative, but also told him he should rather concentrate "on the big prize."
Günther confidently to victory
There were no more significant changes in the final laps, with Günther able to bring home his fourth Formula E victory - the first ever for Maserati in Formula E! Dennis finished second ahead of Evans, Fenestraz and Nato. Porsche's drivers Wehrlein and Felix da Costa followed in 6th and 7th, respectively, with Mortara, Vandoorne and Buemi rounding out the points-paying positions.
With Nick Cassidy's retirement, Pascal Wehrlein regained the Formula E world championship lead in sixth place. Just one point behind him now follows Jake Dennis, with Cassidy another five points behind. Evans is fourth, as Max Günther climed to seventh overall.
In the teams' world championship, Porsche extended their lead. Envision remained second ahead of the Jaguar factory team despite a bitter setback in Jakarta. Maserati moved up to sixth place, and Nissan also scored plenty of points in Indonesia on Sunday.
The next Formula E race will take place on June 24. That's when the electric series makes its first appearance in Portland, USA.