Maserati MSG Racing have announced the signing of Formula 2 driver Jehan Daruvala for the 2023/24 season, with him partnering the retained Maximilian Günther.
After four seasons in F2, Daruvala will finally leave the feeder series to join a World Championship, in the form of Formula E. The Indian driver isn’t exactly a stranger to the series, having been Mahindra Racing’s reserve driver in season nine, whilst he also completed the Berlin rookie test and the Rome rookie session for the side.
It means that as well as departing F2, Daruvala has also left Mahindra, to take a full-time seat at Maserati alongside Günther, who will compete with the side for a second season.
Daruvala has taken the place of Edoardo Mortara, who recently left the team ahead of a rumoured move elsewhere, potentially to Mahindra. The 24-year-old is already an accomplished racing driver despite his young age, with him being a four-time F2 race winner.
Whilst he hasn’t won a race this season for MP Motorsport, he has featured on the rostrum three times, with his most recent podium appearance having come at Monaco, where he finished second in the F2 sprint race.
Daruvala’s arrival will see him embark on his maiden Formula E campaign, with him looking set to be the only rookie driver on the grid. The ex-Mahindra reserve is very much looking forward to racing for Maserati and is fully focused on “hitting the ground running” in the Mexico City season-opener in January.
“Formula E is a championship that I have admired for a long time, and after taking part in two test sessions, I’m very happy to have the opportunity to step up to a full-time race seat,” said Daruvala. “From my experiences so far, the Gen3 car is completely unique to drive, but I’ve found it to be a very rewarding experience.
“I would like to thank James and Maserati MSG Racing for giving me this chance and I can’t wait to learn more about the car and get to know the team better in pre-season testing, before hitting the ground running in Mexico City in January.”
Günther retained for 2024
Unsurprisingly, given just how well he ended season nine, Maserati have made the smart decision to retain Günther for season 10. The German only joined the team at the start of the 2022/23 season and showed instant speed in pre-season testing, where he topped almost every session.
However, the opening rounds were a disaster for Günther, who made several driver errors. His qualifying crash ahead of Diriyah R1 was particularly costly, as his car was too damaged to participate in the E-Prix. In all honesty, the opening six rounds for him and the team were dreadful, before his and Maserati’s campaign came to life at the German driver’s home event.
The Berlin double-header was the real turning point of Günther’s and Maserati’s season, as he claimed the team’s first podium of the year. With the exception of a DNF in Monaco, Günther finished no lower than sixth from rounds seven through to round 16 in London.
Across the final nine rounds of the campaign, Günther secured three P3 finishes, two pole positions in Jakarta and a famous victory also in the Indonesian capital. Günther’s stunning victory in Jakarta marked Maserati’s first in single-seater racing since 1957, marking a day to never forget.
Günther had a real swagger about him in the second half of the season, which could see him challenge the frontrunners from the get-go in season 10, if he can start the new season how he ended the previous one.
He’s delighted to remain with the Monte-Carlo-based team for a second season in what’ll be his fifth Formula E campaign, at just the age of 26 years old. The German driver is confident that himself and the team can continue from where they left off at the London E-Prix in July, and “achieve bigger and better things” in 2024.
“I’m very proud to continue with Maserati MSG Racing. We had a great first season together, particularly with the momentum we built in the second half of the year with one win, four podiums and two poles,” said Günther.
“Continuing to build on this base is something that I’m very much looking forward to in 2024, alongside working with Jehan as my new teammate. After seeing our performance trajectory unfold this year, I‘m confident we can go on to achieve bigger and better things in the future.”
Rossiter ‘confident’ Maserati can ‘fight at the front’
Team Principal James Rossiter is “excited” about Maserati’s line-up for season 10, with him recognising that the side now have a “blend” of youth and experience. Daruvala will, of course, need some time to get up to speed; however, the team boss is hopeful that Günther’s “strong understanding” of the Gen3 era will support Daruvala’s integration into the team and Formula E.
Daruvala certainly has incredibly big shoes to fill, given that Mortara was a valuable member of the team for six seasons. Whilst the Swiss driver was a key part of the side’s cog, Rossiter is a huge believer in Daruvala’s “determination”.
Maserati’s driver pairing is certainly an exciting one which will arguably only grow stronger the longer Daruvala spends behind the wheel, leaving Rossiter “confident” that with the Indian star alongside the very quick Günther, the Jaguars and Porsches can be challenged in 2024.
“We’re excited about our driver lineup for Season 10, and we’re confident that the blend of Max’s experience with Jehan’s determination will prove to be a competitive combination. Max impressed us throughout the 2022/23 season, and continuing our relationship was a natural decision,” admitted Rossiter.
“He has brilliant speed, a strong understanding of Formula E’s Gen3 package, and with five seasons of experience – despite being aged only 26 – has an impressive amount of knowledge.
“That experience will be invaluable for Jehan, who has already shown good promise in his two rookie test outings with Mahindra earlier this year. Over the past four years, he has shown hunger and determination in Formula 2, and has clearly demonstrated that he has what it takes to win races. Now, Jehan is ready to do the work it takes to succeed in Formula E.
“In Season 9, we faced many highs and lows, but we learned a great deal from every scenario we faced. After making some positive performance gains over the Summer, we’re looking forward to getting Season 10 underway, and with our lineup, we’re confident that we can be in a position to fight at the front of the grid.”