Q&A: Max talks Gen3 Formula E

In Formula E’s ninth season, Maximilian Günther will be at the heart of Maserati MSG Racing and entwined with the iconic comeback story of one of motor racing’s most prestigious brands.


Following on from the historic launch of our Season 9 challenger, the Maserati Tipo Folgore, Max runs down the nuances of Gen3 Formula E as the field gears up for pre-season testing.


Q: Maserati Tipo Folgore is Maserati MSG Racing’s newest Formula E challenger. How does it feel in comparison to its Gen2 counterpart?

“It still feels like a Formula E car, and it isn’t a complete change in philosophy compared to the Gen2, but with more power, less weight and increased regen, it does feel very different to drive. Combining everything together creates a very enjoyable challenge and because of the characteristics, getting the maximum performance out of the car is done in a very different way. It’s very exciting because from Gen1 to Gen2, we had so many ideas and now in Gen3, there is some transfer in knowledge but so much needs to be explored from ground zero. It’s a new chapter and one that I’m very excited for.”


Q: You had a chance to drive Maserati Tipo Folgore privately before its official unveiling. How was private testing from your perspective? 

“From my first outing to my most recent, I’ve enjoyed driving the car a lot. It’s significantly more powerful, the braking system is more complex, the tyres are new, and this makes for a great challenge. The Gen3’s whole drivability provides more chances for both the driver and team to make a difference when exploring the performance side. We’ve tried many different things so far and we have a strong understanding. Testing so far has been good, the mileage has been high, and I feel very comfortable.”


Q: Alongside the new car, Formula E’s sporting format is also significantly different for Season 9. What will be the key areas of management?

“Yes,we have big changes to the sporting regulations. For the past four seasons, we’ve been racing over a period of time which presented some unique challenges, but that will change quite a bit now that each race will be defined by number of laps. Full Course Yellows and Safety Cars will still impact race management and Attack Mode will be a big strategic element as well, as will pitstops at select races. With the new car, and the changes on the sporting side, there will be a lot of exciting discussions before each race and I think on track it will be simpler, but far more spectacular. I think things are changing in avery positive direction.”


Q: Refinement is a key part of motorsport. Where do you think the key area for development will be in Gen3 Formula E?

“In Formula E, everyone thinks about the technical package as pure efficiency, but after eight seasons and a lot of experience with car development, I think efficiency should be similar across most teams. Because there isn’t much scope to be more efficient, there’s then a question of how teams have interpreted the regulations, and it often happens in motorsport that teams do things differently with their own philosophies. Aside from that, it’s important to have a reliable car, especially at the start of a new generation. Then, understanding setup, operating windows, and energy management. We constantly search for new, innovative ideas to be as quick as possible, but whichever team can understand what the car needs the fastest will likely be up front.”

Q: Before the season starts, Formula E has its final phase of testing in Valencia. Just how important is this test? 

“It’s very important for everyone, and three days of running is a huge opportunity to continue to understand and develop the car. With a new generation car, the early tests are always focussed on reliability and building a strong working baseline. Then, the closer you get to the season, the more we start to really focus on pure performance. Each team will have its own set of programs and approaches to extract the most, and although we’ll continue to improve the car during the season, at this stage everyone will be starting to push the limits.”