How to master Formula E’s three styles of racing

It’s a little over a month until Formula E’s 10th season resumes, but Maximilian Günther is counting down the days.


Despite it being one of the team’s more challenging events last year, Max enjoyed racing in São Paulo in 2023, and he’s excited to return.


In the land of motor racing folklore, where the names of Senna, Massa, and Fittipaldi reign supreme, Formula E injected a refreshing spark, but São Paulo left a lasting impression on the paddock.


Formula E’s first outing in Brazil birthed a new style of racing – the peloton – and over the past 12 months, this high-octane competition type has gripped audiences.


Shaped by high energy management, the power of the slipstream, and immeasurable margins between victory and defeat, the peloton is arguably one of the most exciting forms of racing right now.


After a trio of strategy-driven races to start the season, Formula E is on the verge of switching things up.


Ahead of a hotly anticipated return on March 16, Max explains what it takes to succeed in motorsport’s most unpredictable World Championship, and how he switches between two very different types of racing.


“We have a variety of different racing styles in Formula E,” says Max. “The energy saving element is what makes our races so exciting, and formulating and strategizing this is something I enjoy.


“Since the start of Gen3, two race types have emerged: Races where energy management isn’t at the foreground, and then the peloton which demands an extreme amount of saving.


“The races we’ve had this season in Mexico City and Diriyah fall into the first category, and although they don’t have much overtaking, they require us to drive very intelligent races.


“Track position is important, taking Attack Mode at the right time is critical, and achieving a good result comes down to good teamwork. Qualifying well also gives you a higher chance of finishing at the front in the race.


“The peloton is very different and very challenging,” he continues. “There is a lot of overtaking and within that, you need to run your own race, decide when to push, when to conserve, and when to fight to the front.


“It can be very stressful to drive, and luck does sometimes come into it, but at the same time, it’s very exciting and I think we still see the best teams and drivers come to the front.


“We started to get glimpses the peloton style in São Paulo last year, but in Berlin and Portland, it really went to a new level.


“I think both styles are rewarding and in Season 9, we performed well in races of both types as a team, and this gives us a lot of confidence – we could be in for a good result every weekend.”


In the first fully fledged peloton race of 2023, Max capitalised upon the conditions to secure a historic result, scoring the Maserati brand’s first World Championship single-seater podium since 1957.


At the Jakarta E-Prix, he went one step further to stage one of the most dominant performances ever seen in Formula E, becoming the first driver to win for the Trident since Juan Manuel Fangio.


“I’m a big fan of races that rely on pure pace and performance, and in Formula E, we have a racing style which includes areas from the peloton and less energy sensitive races,” continues Max. “This type is my preference.


“I think Jakarta fell into this category– we had a lot of overtaking, some good energy management, and we also had to prioritise the strategy. We really showed what we’re capable of.


“To be fast you need to manage a lot of different elements, but in Formula E we need to be incredibly consistent, and we need to adapt to every racing style we face. It’s our job.


“Looking at it from a wider picture, I think it’s really cool that we can have a conversation about different types of racing within one series which can change from one weekend to the next. Not many categories have that.


“We already have such a competitive grid, and the racing is already good, but now having additional elements like this can add a different dynamic, and it also tests us more as drivers.


“We could be on a street circuit or a purpose-built track, we could have different styles of racing, and this makes it more exciting for fans.


“Every race weekend is different, and keeping the competition close and exciting right up to the chequered flag is something we do well.”