Pascal Wehrlein & Max Günther celebrate German double Formula E podium in Jakarta: "A perfect day"
Pascal Wehrlein is back in the Formula E world championship battle: With his third victory of the season in Jakarta, the Porsche driver reduced the gap to championship leader Nick Cassidy to just two points. Wehrlein laid the foundation for this in qualifying, where he advanced to the semifinals for the first time. Maximilian Günther confirmed after two practice wins, his first pole position and 3rd place, that after the disastrous start to the season, Maserati is finally back in the game.
The free practice sessions as well as the qualifying had already indicated that it could be a good day for the German drivers. All four competitors from the Bundesrepublik competed in group B. Günther, Wehrlein and Rene Rast took positions 1 to 3, debutant David Beckmann was tenth. In the duels, Günther prevailed three times in a row and secured his first pole position in his 61st Formula E race. Wehrlein won a qualifying duel for the first time this season, starting third.
In the race, the lead changed several times between Günther and Wehrlein, but the race pace of the Porsche powertrains proved stronger. Günther had to give way to both Wehrlein and Andretti driver Jake Dennis. In the slipstream of the Briton, he saved energy for a final attack on Dennis but didn't get the chance in the end. At the front, Wehrlein brought home victory - his third this season and even the fourth for the Porsche team.
In the Formula E team standings, TAG Heuer Porsche thus retook the lead from Envision Racing. Wehrlein is now only two points behind world championship leader Nick Cassidy and can once again have greater hopes of winning the title in 2023.
Wehrlein: "Know that on a perfect day we're right at the front"
"It was a mega race and a lot of fun," a happy Wehrlein said to 'ProSieben' shortly after the race was over. "But it was definitely very exhausting because I knew that the others were driving in the slipstream the whole time and therefore had more energy than me."
"Once I had to defend hard, that just worked out," he said, describing the controversial maneuver against Jake Dennis. "We did everything perfectly: from strategy over setup to qualifying. I felt very comfortable in the car. It was a perfect day. We know that on a perfect day, we're right at the front."
"Unfortunately, it didn't work out in the last few races," Wehrlein continued. "That was a bit frustrating. After the good start to the season, we ourselves would not have expected to fall behind like that. But we've put in a lot of work in the last few weeks, and that's why I'm very proud of the whole team."
Günther: "3rd place was the maximum in the end"
His compatriot Günther was also "definitely very happy with 3rd place" after Saturday's race. "These are important points for us," the Maserati driver told 'ProSieben'. "It was almost enough (to win), but the two Porsche guys in front of me were just too fast. My balance was not quite optimal."
"I had a problem at the start," Günther described. "That's when I was lucky to have stayed in the lead at all. My pace was very good in the early stages, and I was able to open up a small gap."
"But when you're right at the front, you use more energy," Günther continued. "You can't sustain that for too long. That's why you have to be tactically smart. I tried everything and gave it my all, but in the end, third place was the maximum."
On Sunday morning at 10 a.m. (CEST), Günther and Wehrlein will have another opportunity to score points. That's when the second race of the double-header is scheduled in Jakarta.