Maserati MSG Racing stages strong recovery in Portland

Maserati MSG Racing’s Maximilian Günther staged an impressive recovery drive at the 2024 Portland E-Prix, gaining 13 positions to finish eighth in a hard-fought race in Oregon.

After facing a challenging first race on Saturday, the 26-year-old rebounded in strong fashion on Sunday after initially struggling for pace across practice and Qualifying.

Max launched his efforts from Group A but lined up at the rear of the grid in 21st while team-mate, Jehan Daruvala, qualified ninth after narrowly missing out on the duels by only 0.003 seconds.

At the start of the race, both drivers chose to hold position before strategically dropping back in the field to save energy which would be deployed at a later stage.

With an energy offset over their closest rivals, Max and Jehan then used this to their advantage and began to fight through the pack with furious efficiency.

As the battle started to heat up ahead, Max slotted into the top 10 on lap 15 by overtaking Edoardo Mortara and entered a multi-lap battle with Sacha Fenestraz and Norman Nato in the fight for eighth.

After overtaking both, Max was unfortunately pushed wide by Lucas di Grassi and slipped to 10th before an ill-timed Safety Car, caused by debris on track, neutralised the race on lap 18.

This pause in action reduced energy saving targets throughout the field, and as a result, minimised Max and Jehan’s earlier strategic advantage, although the pair continued to fight.

By clearing Fenestraz for a second time, Max slotted into ninth and overtook Di Grassi on the final lap to claim eighth at the flag, while Jehan also passed the Brazilian to finish 12th.

Season 10 of the FIA Formula E World Championship will continue in London, United Kingdom on 20-21 July 2024 where a campaign will come to a close and a champion will be crowned.

In Their Words

Maximilian Günther, Driver, Maserati MSG Racing

“This weekend has been very tough for us, so recovering to the top 10 after starting from the last row of the grid is an achievement. Without the Safety Car, I think even more could have been possible but I’m still very happy. There’s no doubt that this weekend has been challenging, and there are still a few question marks about our performance remaining. We will use the time between now and London to clear that up, but we can be happy. Compared to where we were last year, we’ve made some good changes to the car, and street circuits are good for us, so London should suit our package.”

Jehan Daruvala, Driver, Maserati MSG Racing

“Today’s race didn’t go as I had hoped. After a good performance in Qualifying, I tried to save as much energy as possible at the start, but the timing of the Safety Car lowered everyone else’s energy targets which meant that I wasn’t able to use my own advantage to full effect. Our focus is now on London to make the most of the remaining opportunities to score points - I’m hoping to end the season on a high.”

Cyril Blais, Deputy Team Principal, Maserati MSG Racing

“Mixed emotions for the team today. With Max starting at the back, it was always going to be a difficult race but we decided to go aggressive with our strategy. We saved energy at the beginning which paid off, and then we began to climb through the pack. Unfortunately, the Safety Car came out at the worst possible time for us because it minimised the advantage we had, but nevertheless, Max was able to finish eighth which, after starting from 21st, is a great result. With Jehan starting inside the top 10, we had high hopes for him to score some good points, and it was a shame that we couldn’t have both cars up there. We’ll take the positives and key learnings away from this weekend, debrief thoroughly, and focus on our preparation for London so that we can put ourselves in contention for more championship points.”

Giovanni Sgro, Head of Maserati Corse

“Obviously not an easy race. The whole weekend was more difficult than expected. We know how stressful two-race weekends can be for the drivers, who often get to race 2 without having slept well and short of energy. Nevertheless, we scored some points thanks to a spectacular recovery and we are ready for a hard-fought season finale in London. Once again, the weekend has been useful to gather data, not only looking ahead to the next race, but also to further explore the issues of technology transfer from the track to the road with our Maserati Folgore range."