Formula E

"Made the impossible possible" - Max Günther finishes in the points after Sao Paulo penalty disaster

Tim Neuhaus

Tim Neuhaus

Maserati MSG Racing also scored points with Maximilian Günther in the fourth race of the 2024 Formula E season. However, it was theoretically almost "impossible" to finish in the top 10 at the Sao Paulo E-Prix, as Günther himself says. The team was forced to change two components which not only earned him a grid drop penalty, but also a stop-and-go penalty in the race. The Maserati team was therefore delighted to have scored two important points.

On Friday, the Maserati Tipo Folgore looked more than competitive with both Maximilian Günther and Jehan Daruvala. At least until it was discovered that both the gearbox and the inverter of Günther's car had to be replaced. The weekend seemed to be over already, as the penalty was a 40-place grid drop.

This meant that qualifying was no longer relevant for the grid position, as Günther definitely had to start the race from 22nd on the grid. Despite this, he could still score three championship points in qualifying. The driver with the number 7 dominated the group phase and set the fastest lap. In his first duel, Günther was able to beat the eventual race winner Sam Bird, but was beaten by pole-sitter Pascal Wehrlein in the semi-final.

Günther amazed with huge catch-up

Günther was not only in last place on the grid, but also had to convert the remaining places of his penalty into a 10-second stop-and-go penalty. The start of the race was accordingly cautious and Günther went into the pit lane at the end of the first lap to serve the penalty. The result was a huge gap to the rest of the field, which could only be closed with the help of a safety car.

On the seventh lap, the safety car actually came out onto the track due to debris. Günther was delighted: "Then the safety car came out, which was very important for our race and our strategy. From then on, we attacked." Günthers not only outpaced his team-mate with his offensive, but also made it up to tenth place. Eleven overtaking manoeuvres in just seven laps impressed spectators and the team alike.

9th place makes the whole team happy

The accident involving Nick Cassidy allowed Günther to move up to P9. It was not to go any further for him. Although the Maserati driver fought a few duels with Jean Eric Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorne, he was unable to overcome them. The German was highly satisfied with P9 though: "Today we made the impossible possible. Starting last and the 10-second stop-and-go penalty were a big task, but we made the best of it."

Maserati's chief engineer, Cyril Blais, praised Günter: "We put in a strong performance. Max pulled off some good overtakes, drove to the front, coped well with the temperatures and we are very happy with the result." According to Blais, the mechanics also played their part in the success: "It took a lot of work to replace the gearbox and the inverter, and the team deserves a big thank you for this great effort."

The pure pace of Maserati was promising and gives hope for a good result in Japan. The first P-Prix in Tokyo takes place on 30 March.

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