Race Recap: 2024 Portland E-Prix

In motor racing, the chequered flag is the objective, but while we often rush to get to the destination, it’s the journey to get there that shapes how we feel at the end of the road.

While Formula E’s 10th season is almost at an end, the route we have taken at Maserati MSG Racing has been underscored by development, and it’s only by facing our toughest challenges that we can truly grow.

The 2024 Portland E-Prix – the penultimate race weekend of the current campaign – presented countless difficulties, but by staying together, we overcame every obstacle to stage a tremendous comeback performance.

Relive Formula E’s most recent trip to the US from the perspective of Maserati MSG Racing.

A Difficult Start

Maserati MSG Racing team members walk Portland International Raceway during Thursday's track walk

As soon as we took to the track in Portland, we saw signs that we could be in for a difficult weekend, with pace hard to come by, especially over one lap.

In Qualifying, the full extent of our concerns were realised when, after struggling to put both cars in the right operating window, Maximilian Günther and Jehan Daruvala made an early exit.

Facing this issue, both Max and Jehan failed to make it through to the Quarter-Finals from Group A and were left in 19th and 20th, but started from 17th and 18th.

With clear pace and efficiency over long distances, however, it was game on for the race.

A Race to Forget

Maserati MSG Racing driver, Jehan Daruvala, on track in Portland

Despite piecing together an effective strategy and an energy-efficient route to the flag, Race One on Saturday didn’t work out how we had hoped.

The goal was to save energy at the start with the aim of pouncing at the end, and that’s exactly what we did as our duo battled into the top 10 by mid-race distance.

Running as high as sixth, Max was in fine form but was shuffled outside of the points after losing track position.

With the German racer and Jehan running nose-to-tail, a lockup from Jehan left him a passenger in his own car, and contact was inevitable.

But motorsport is unpredictable. After debriefing Saturday, we were desperate to fight forward once more, and our full attention went to maximising Race Two.

Jehan’s Fine Form

Maserati MSG Racing driver, Jehan Daruvala, smiling on the grid ahead of the 2024 Portland E-Prix

Jehan was a man on a mission on Saturday morning, and he left nothing on the table when it came to Qualifying for Race Two.

The 25-year-old just continued to push, and by doing so, equalled his second-best result in Qualifying so far this season, lining up in ninth.

After missing out on the duels by only 0.003 seconds, there was some frustration but nevertheless, we were already in a strong position for the race.

Max Fights Back

Maserati MSG Racing driver, Maximilian Günther, drives his Season 10 Maserati Tipo Folgore during the 2024 Portland E-Prix

While Jehan started from the top 10, Max lined up in 21st after a difficult Qualifying, but was determined to recover lost ground in the race.

Our strategy in Race One very nearly worked, and as such, aggressive energy management was the only option, and by saving at the start, Max put himself in a prime position.

On lap 15, Max overtook Edoardo Mortara to slot inside the top 10, and next overtook Sacha Fenestraz and Norman Nato to move into eighth.

Next up was Lucas di Grassi, and the fight was hard but fair, but when Max was pushed wide, he lost vital track position and fell to 10th before the Safety Car was deployed on lap 18.

An Incredible Recovery

Maserati MSG Racing driver, Maximilian Günther, drives his Season 10 Maserati Tipo Folgore at the 2024 Portland E-Prix.

Given the number of incidents in Race Two, Sunday’s Safety Car was inevitable, but it also couldn’t have come at a worse time in the weekend.

In Formula E, a Safety Car slows a race’s pace down, and therefore allows drivers to conserve energy, while ensuring a likely sprint to the finish.

In such a situation, it can become very difficult to overtake, and after having an energy advantage for most of the race, Max was placed on level footing with his competitors late on.

Nevertheless, he dug in deep and fought hard, re-passing Fenestraz before overtaking Di Grassi on the final lap to claim eighth. Jehan, meanwhile, also made moves himself on the final lap to finish in a hard-fought 12th.

With Portland complete, our full attention now switches over to the London E-Prix this July, and with our focus and hunger at an all-time high, we’re ready to finish Season 10 in style.