Team experiences challenging opening race in Shanghai

Maserati MSG Racing experienced a challenging opening race at the 2024 Shanghai E-Prix as the FIA Formula E World Championship returned to mainland China for the first time since Season 2.

The Monaco-based team entered the weekend after showing promise in Berlin, but struggled for pace across practice as drivers, Maximilian Günther and Jehan Daruvala, got acquainted with the fast and flowing Shanghai International Circuit.

For Qualifying, both Max and Jehan launched their efforts from Group A, but despite taking a clear step forward, unfortunately missed out on the duels, lining up 14th and 20th on the grid.

Facing an energy sensitive race ahead, the duo adopted a critical energy saving strategy off the line and while Jehan fell to 22nd on lap one, Max slipped to 18th after taking both of his Attack Modes early on laps four and eight.

By building an energy advantage over their closest competitors, Max and Jehan set out to fight forwards, and while Jehan rose to 19th, Max staged a strong recovery drive into the top 10.

On lap 16 of 29, the 26-year-old German launched his offensive, and in a high-intensity battle with Jean-Eric Vergne and Oliver Rowland, fought forward to run as high as seventh.

Unfortunately, Max lost crucial places in the closing stages and after taking the chequered flag in ninth, received a 10-second penalty post-race following earlier contact and was classified 21st. Jehan, meanwhile, finished 19th.

In Their Words

Maximilian Günther, Driver, Maserati MSG Racing

“Starting from 14th, the goal was to save some energy, build an energy advantage, and then drive into the points which is what we achieved before the penalty. In the end, it was a pretty wild race with a lot of fighting, but it was unfortunate that we couldn’t gain more places because we were in a good place with energy, but overtaking wasn’t easy. We need to review the race, but before the penalty, I think we can be pleased with out recovery. Our pace over one lap is looking good, and if we can execute a strong Qualifying, I think we can be in a good position tomorrow.”

Jehan Daruvala, Driver, Maserati MSG Racing

“Today’s race wasn’t easy. Because of the energy sensitivity of the circuit, energy saving was the most important factor, but because our targets per lap were so high, it was very difficult to overtake. I think there is a lot we can learn from today, and if we can start higher, tomorrow has the potential to be a better day.”

Cyril Blais, Deputy Team Principal, Maserati MSG Racing

“A very exciting race here in Shanghai but unfortunately, it didn’t go our way. We went on an energy saving strategy at the start, and both drivers did well. Before the penalty, we were set for a points finish with Max, but I think there is more on the table. With Jehan, the race was a bit more complicated, but he has good pace, and across the team, we’re feeling confident. We have another race tomorrow, and with some analysis tonight, we can deliver more.”

Giovanni Sgro, Head of Maserati Corse

"We knew this circuit would have been a blank page for everyone, and racing can be disappointing sometimes. Max managed to finish P9 but unfortunately the penalty forced him to P21. Jehan struggled a bit more during the race, but he still climbed a few places to bring the car home on a challenging circuit. I’m confident both drivers will push hard to improve their performance tomorrow. There is still a solid chance to gain valuable points. The Shanghai International Circuit is a very famous one and it is always nice to see how Formula E fans have grown around the world. The series is back in China after four seasons and we are happy to spread our electrification message with our 100% electric Folgore range through Maserati’s participation in Formula E.”