Formula E

Maserati team boss Rossiter sums up "grueling" start to season: "Can't afford to do it again"

Tobias Bluhm

Tobias Bluhm

After the first five races of the season, Maserati MSG is in second-to-last place in the Formula E world championship standings. Team boss James Rossiter is not satisfied with the performance of his racing team and urges to miss fewer opportunities. In particular, the accident-proneness of his drivers raises questions.

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Nine crashes in the first four race weekends, only three points on the world championship account: For the Formula E team Maserati MSG Racing, the start to the 2023 season could hardly have gone worse. After promising test drives in Spain, the Italian constructor looked like one of the favorites in the title fight before the opening weekend in Mexico. But what followed were bankruptcies, sheet metal and mishaps.

"Our pace in Mexico City was a bit of a shock, especially after the strong performance in Valencia," admits team boss James Rossiter in a blog post on the team's official website. The Briton was changed from DS Automobiles to Maserati's entry partner MSG after Jerome d'Ambrosio surprisingly left the racing team. "We've worked hard on our performance since the opening race," Rossiter said, "But our progress has always been masked by a mixture of bad luck and mistakes so far."

Maserati in search of perfection - accidents prevent points

"In Saudi Arabia, accidents set us back in qualifying, then in India our race was finished through no fault of our own. Before Cape Town, we knew we had to deliver a perfect weekend," Rossiter said. "That's extremely difficult in Formula E, and we were reminded of that very quickly as well."

Overview: Maserati's accidents in the 2023 Formula E season

Race (session) Edoardo Mortara Maximilian Günther
Mexico City (FP2) Suspension break after accident in T19  
Mexico City (race) accident in T1, backwards into TecPro gang  
Diriyya (FP2)   Wing damage after accident in T16
Diriyya (Qualifying) Wing damage after accident in T16 chassis-damage-after-accident-in-T11
Hyderabad (FP1) Collision in T3 with ticktum  
Hyderabad (race) Collision in T3 with Dennis  
Cape Town (Qualifying) chassis-damage-after-accident-in-T8  
Cape Town (Race)   Suspension break after accident in T1

* Standings: Cape Town E-Prix

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At first, things looked good: In South Africa, Edoardo Mortara made a successful start to the weekend with the best time in 1st free practice, and in the second session he was second fastest. Then, however, he hit the wall in qualifying. The car was repaired by the start of the race, but technical problems reappeared on the first lap, forcing the Swiss to park his car after just a few meters.

Mortara's teammate, Maximilian Günther, took part in the leadership battle for long stretches after qualifying well in second place on the grid and was on course for his first points result of the season. "But after the second attack mode activation, he made a mistake and touched the wall, causing the rear suspension to break. That's a great pity, because if you look closely at his pace, maybe even a podium or a win would have been possible," said the team boss, who admonished his drivers, "Always looking at missed opportunities is something we can't afford to do."

Confidence despite "grueling" start to season

The team will now use the time before the Sao Paulo E-Prix to regroup for the remaining eleven rounds in the current season, he said. "The first few races were pretty grueling for everyone. But I'm confident that with some distance from the track we can recover and then achieve results that we know we're capable of. We know we have a fast car!"

Ahead of the first Formula E race in Brazil (March 25), Maserati is in second-to-last place in the World Championship standings. Only the German ABT Cupra team, which sat out Cape Town due to suspension problems, is still behind.

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