Race Recap: 2023 São Paulo E-Prix

Formula E and Brazil have long had a budding romance, and after nine years of anticipation, the fully-electric field finally took to the streets of São Paulo.


The energy was unmistakable and the competition, captivating, but unfortunately for Maserati MSG Racing, it was not meant to be, despite our best efforts.


Every challenge comes with a lesson, however, and despite the disappointment, the pace and promise of our Season 9 package is still extremely evident.


Relive our weekend in Brazil with our race recap from São Paulo.


Good Pace, Good Practice

On any new racing circuit, maximising a practice window is vital, but given the high-speed nature and high erenergy demands of São Paulo, adjusting to the track was extremely important.


As soon the pitlane lights changed to green, we embarked on one combined hour of discovery, and with significant learnings, unlocked good pace ahead of qualifying.


While Edoardo Mortara grappled with some early issues, team-mate Maximilian Günther was on a charge, and emerged from FP2 with the second-fastest time.


With 77 laps on the board, and therefore, a good helping of data in hand, we next went into qualifying, powered by the determination for success.


Double Duel Appearance

 Both Edo and Max were spurred on by a great hunger in the grid decider, and by leaving nothing on the table, the pair fought their way out of the group stages to secure their place in the duels.


After setting the third-fastest time in Group A, Edo faced Envision Racing’s Nick Cassidy in the Quarter-Finals while, as the second-fastest of B, Max went up against Antonio Felix da Costa.


Unfortunately, the young German was just pipped by the Season 6 champion, but Edo quickly dispatched of Cassidy to head into the Semi-Finals.


Here, Edo faced reigning champion Stoffel Vandoorne, and although the pair were close in combat, it was DS Penske who prevailed.


By qualifying fourth Edo was in a strong spot for the race and with Max starting ninth with a grid penalty from Cape Town – after bagging sixth – the duo were in a good position to contend for points.


A Bruising Start

 A race start in Formula E is always a frenetic affair. Drivers run side-by-side, exploring every opportunity and jostle for position, all with the single hope of making progress through the field.


While a start can make a weekend, it can also break one and São Paulo’s tight Turn One bit Edo hard when the field bunched up and he was left with nowhere to go, other than the rear of Mitch Evans.


By striking the Jaguar, Edo was left with major front wing damage and dropped to the back of the field immediately but with a quiet confidence, Max held his own.


He maintained position initially but quickly applied pressure on both McLaren drivers and was relentlessly scrapping with Jake Hughes and René Rast in the fight for seventh.


We Get Knocked Down, But We Get Up Again 

While the battle raged, Edo pitted for repairs at the end of lap one and rejoined well down the order, although a Safety Car on lap eight sparked a new hope.


As the field slowed, he caught up to the bunched pack, simply waiting to extract the pace of the Tipo Folgore when the race returned to green flag running.


When the Safety Car peeled away on lap 12, he fought back and clawed his way to 14th from 20th in only five racing laps before another race neutralisation paused the action.


Edo moved up to 13th on the second restart but was unfortunately tapped mid-corner, spun into the barriers, and out of the race by Nico Müller, ending an impressive recovery drive.


Closing In

After losing time following a brief systems shutdown on the approach to Turn One, Max was slapped with a five-second time penalty which further impacted our unfolding afternoon.


Nevertheless, Max responded in the only way he knows – by digging in deep and pushing hard, extracting as much pace as possible in the hope of turning the tide.


Difficult race restarts hindered his hopes, but an overtake from Sebastien Buemi on lap 28 of 32, pre-race extension, marked the end of our hunt inside the top 10.


By finishing 11th, Max narrowly fell short of points, but with continued pace and the return of a familiar circuit in Berlin up next, fortunes are sure to change.