Maserati stages incredible recovery drive in São Paulo

Maximilian Günther recovers from 40-place grid penalty to finish ninth in 2024 São Paulo E-Prix
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In Numbers

Maximilian Günther
Free Practice One // P6
Free Practice Two // P15
Qualifying // P3 [1:13.041, Semi-Final Two]
Race // P9
Positions Gained // +13
Fastest Lap // 1:15.989
Championship // P8 [22 points]

Jehan Daruvala
Free Practice One // P9
Free Practice Two // P10
Qualifying // P17 [1:14.032, Group B]
Race // P15
Positions Gained // +1
Fastest Lap // 1:15.967
Championship // P21 [0 points]

Maserati MSG Racing
Championship // P8 [22 points]

In Detail
Maserati MSG Racing battled to a top 10 finish at the 2024 São Paulo E-Prix, with driver, Maximilian Günther, recovering from a 40-place grid penalty to finish ninth in Brazil.

The race, which was held around São Paulo’s iconic Sambradrome, marked the fourth round of Formula E’s 10th season, with the series most recently racing in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, on January 27.

Max and team-mate, Jehan Daruvala, showed encouraging pace throughout practice, although a gearbox and inverter change – strategically made to unlock performance – presented Max with a 40-place grid penalty for the race.

Despite this, the 26-year-old German delivered a fighting result in qualifying, paving his path to the duel stage Semi-Finals from Group B to secure a provisional third on the grid.

Jehan, also from Group B, qualified 17th, but lined up 16th due to Max’s grid penalty. Max, meanwhile, started from 22nd but was forced to serve a 10-second stop-go penalty in the race after being unable to fulfil his full grid demotion.

While Max served this penalty, Jehan maintained his starting position off the line but lost ground as the race evolved, facing an extreme energy saving scenario.

With bumping and banging throughout the field, excessive debris led to a crucial Safety Car on lap seven, which allowed Max to close in on the pack after previously running at the rear.

When the race was resumed at the end of lap eight, Max set out to charge up the order and performed an impressive 11 overtakes in only seven laps to slot into the top 10.

An accident for Nick Cassidy on lap 16 led to a second Safety Car which again bunched up the grid. The race was restarted on lap 19, and Max continued his offensive, next shaping up Stoffel Vandoorne.

He overtook the DS Penske driver on lap 24, and continued to push, next setting his sights on Oliver Rowland and Jean-Eric Vergne, although he slipped back to ninth on lap 30.

Facing a total of three added laps, Max made one final overtaking attempt on Vandoorne but was unable to overtake the Belgian. He claimed ninth at the chequered flag, gaining an incredible 13 positions.

After briefly falling to the back of the field, Jehan also staged a strong recovery and gained three places on the last lap to finish 15th.

Formula E’s 10th season will resume on March 30, 2024, with the hotly anticipated running of the inaugural Tokyo E-Prix – the series’ debut race in Japan.

In Their Words
Maximilian Günther, Driver, Maserati MSG Racing
“Today, we made the impossible, possible. Starting from last with the grid penalty, and then serving the 10-second stop-go was a big task, but we did the best job we could. I tried to save energy at the start, and then we got the Safety Car which was very important for our race and strategy. From there on, we attacked in order to go to the front. We did some good overtakes, I had a good feeling in the car, and we were always moving forwards with really good pace. The car felt good over the whole weekend, and I think we showed that in qualifying and again in the race. To finish ninth with points from such a circumstance is just an amazing feeling. I think we can all be very proud. It was the best possible recovery and outcome from this strategic penalty, and this will put us in a good position for the rest of the season.”

Jehan Daruvala, Driver, Maserati MSG Racing
“Today’s race wasn’t easy at all. It was my first experience of Formula E’s peloton style, and it isn’t what I expected, but it was good to get some more laps under my belt and I feel like I learned a lot. After four races, I feel quite confident in the car, especially in qualifying. My goal now is to improve my long-run pace. If I can do that, I think we could be in with a shot at points in Tokyo, which will be a new circuit for everybody.”

Cyril Blais, Chief Engineer, Maserati MSG Racing
“Today we executed an amazing race – the whole team is buzzing. After qualifying so well with Max, it’s hard taking such a grid penalty and then to serve a 10-second stop-go penalty in the race, and that came with its own challenges. We planned the strategy in advance, and we took a gamble and hoped for a Safety Car because we needed a bit of luck. The Safety Car on lap seven allowed Max to get to the back of the pack, and to go from last to ninth is amazing. We did a strong execution, Max did some good overtakes, moved to the front when he had to, managed the temperatures well, and we’re very happy with the result. Having to change the gearbox and inverter on his car took a lot of work, and the team are owed a big thank you for such a great effort. As we know, Formula E is a tricky series, and Jehan is on a steep learning curve but he’s making good progress every single weekend. His pace over one lap was strong, and without making an error in his second qualifying run, he could have been in the duels. In race conditions, I think there are still some areas where we can improve, but we’ll regroup and try to achieve more in Tokyo.”

Giovanni Sgro, Head of Maserati Corse
“We made the most of this weekend despite the penalty that forced Max to start from the back of the grid. However, he made a spectacular recovery up to the top ten, bringing home important points. It is always a pity when you have to take a step back after a perfect qualifying, but this is part of motorsport too. Jehan made steady progress throughout the weekend and don’t forget this is only his fourth Formula E race: he is proving that he is always fighting for the best position. We are happy to be back on track and after here we will go straight back to work to focus on the next round in Japan.”

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