Race Recap: 2024 Shanghai E-Prix

A first race in a new location always provides a fresh opportunity, yet there was something nostalgic about the 2024 Shanghai E-Prix.

Racing on mainland China for the first time since Season 2 brought back memories, and while Beijing and Shanghai are 1,000 kilometres apart, they can be connected in a moment with the mind.

The weekend was a nod to Formula E’s origins. It remembered what was, revealed what is, and suggested what could be as Season 10 draws closer to its conclusion.

With points on the board and pure potential still at play, relive a promising weekend in Shanghai from the perspective of Maserati MSG Racing.

A Fraction Short in Qualifying

Jehan Daruvala's helmet for the 2024 Shanghai E-Prix

As the second purpose-built circuit of the season, Shanghai served up an intriguing performance picture and after a productive practice, we found a clear direction to go in for Qualifying.

Given the track’s high energy sensitivity levels, the peloton was always set to return in Race One meaning that starting position, while important, was not necessarily vital.

Nevertheless, our drivers, Maximilian Günther and Jehan Daruvala, set out on a charge and displayed good initial pace in Group A.

As the session’s time reached zero, we unfortunately fell a fraction short, yet with evident pace, the duo were in a strong position to fight forward when Race One got underway.

The Race One Recovery

Maserati MSG Racing driver, Maximilian Günther, battles with DS Penske driver, Jean-Eric Vergne, and Nissan Formula E Team driver, Oliver Rowland, during the 2024 Shanghai E-Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit in China

Starting from 14th and 20th on the grid, Max and Jehan’s race strategy on Saturday was simple: settle into a rhythm, save energy, and build enough of an advantage to fight forward.

This is exactly what they did, and it was almost clinical.

While late energy saving targets sadly impacted Jehan’s ability to overtake, Max successfully worked his way into the top 10 after slipping to 18th following two early Attack Mode activations.

Upon entering the points-paying positions, the 26-year-old German found himself locked in battle with Oliver Rowland and Jean-Eric Vergne as the trio fought it out for seventh.

Max came out on top in this early foray, but unfortunately lost ground in the final stages but still, nevertheless, finished inside the top 10 ninth place.

The Penalty

Maserati MSG Racing driver, Maximilian Günther, prepares for the 2024 Shanghai E-Prix

Shortly after the flag had dropped, it emerged that Max was under investigation after making contact with Edoardo Mortara earlier in Race One.

The incident, while accidental, carried heavy weight, and a 10-second time penalty issued post-race eliminated Max outside of the top 10.

It was a harsh blow, but with another race coming up on Sunday, plenty of opportunities still lay ahead.

The Closest Qualifying

Maserati MSG Racing driver, Jehan Daruvala, leaves the team's garage for Qualifying for the 2024 Shanghai E-Prix

After analysing our data post-race, some careful refinements overnight unlocked additional car performance for Sunday, and in FP3, it was evident that we had taken a step forward.

But in Qualifying for Race Two, the margins were incredibly fine in what would become one of the tightest sessions of the entire season.

With a 1:14.672 lap at the flag, Max unfortunately missed out on the duels by only 0.018 seconds, while falling only 0.043 seconds short of the fastest time from the whole of Group A.

Jehan meanwhile, after placing inside the top four provisionally, made a small mistake on his final push lap, and despite being a mere 0.120 seconds shy of Max, qualified 16th.

When Qualifying came to a close, it was all attention to Race Two, spurred by the desire to reclaim lost ground following Saturday.

A Top 10 Return

Maserati MSG Racing driver, Maximilian Günther, sitting on the grid for the 2024 Shanghai E-Prix

Shanghai’s energy sensitivity levels, mixed with a shorter race on Sunday, presented a high-stakes puzzle for Race Two as the peloton and strategy-led action fused together.

The result was a fascinating 28-lap fight and Max and Jehan were both in fine form.

After losing ground early on, Jehan quickly fought forward by overtaking Sergio Sette Camara and Sacha Fenestraz while Max returned to the top 10 after dropping back initially.

As part of his comeback, Max carved his way into eighth before taking his first Attack Mode on lap five to rejoin alongside Vergne on the approach to Turn Two.

Max’s head-to-head with the DS Penske driver kick-started would be a race-long battle for position as the pair exchanged places consistently over the next 12 laps.

The Frenchman edged ahead on lap 20, leaving Max to finish eighth, while Jehan unfortunately lost ground late on when an incident up the road cost him precious time and track position.

With an eighth-place finish banked, Max added four points to our 2024 points total ahead of the season’s resume on June 29-30 for the Portland E-Prix.