Maximilian Günther has revealed that Maserati MSG Racing’s “ambition” for season 10 is to take the “fight” to the Jaguars and the Porsches, who dominated the first campaign of the Gen3 era.
Season nine was very much dominated by the cars powered by either Jaguar or Porsche, who between them claimed 14 of the 16 wins. It was Jaguar’s customer team Envision Racing who sealed the Teams’ Championship, whilst it was Jake Dennis who was crowned Drivers’ Champion following a successful campaign with Porsche customer outfit Andretti.
Despite their dominance, it was Maserati who actually entered the new era of Formula E as the quickest team, based on the times set in pre-season testing. Günther was exceptional in Valencia and was actually the fastest driver, something which arguably made people expect a great deal from him in the opening rounds.
The start of the 2022/23 season couldn’t have actually gone any worse for Maserati, with driver errors having ridiculed their chances of top-10 finishes. Günther in particular didn’t score his first points of the season until round seven in Berlin, where he finished on the podium.
Other than in Cape Town where a driver error saw him retire from a promising position, Berlin was the first occasion where Günther showed the pace he boasted in testing. The Berlin E-Prix just seemed to bring Günther and Maserati’s package to life, with a sensational second half of season nine having followed.
With the exception of an unfortunate retirement in Monaco – he collided with Dan Ticktum in controversial fashion – Günther finished no lower than P6 in seven of the eight races from Berlin R1 to Rome R2. He scored all of his 101 points in this eight-race period, enough for seventh in the Drivers’ Championship.
After his Berlin rostrum, he went onto claim a second podium in Jakarta R1, before he secured Maserati’s first single-seater win since 1957 in Jakarta R2. Günther’s Jakarta double-header performance was something very special, as he topped every single session bar the first race. It was a weekend where Maserati and the German driver looked unbeatable, and better than Porsche and Jaguar.
Another podium followed in Rome R1, before a disappointing two days in London completed Günther’s first season with Maserati. Forgetting about the first six rounds of the Gen3 era, Maserati had a package which was capable of competing with the Jaguars and the Porsches, courtesy of the 26-year-old.
If Maserati can start season 10 in the way they performed in the second half of season nine, then there is absolutely no reason why the Monte-Carlo-based team cannot compete with those who dominated the all-electric series last season.
Not only did Günther prove that the team’s package is strong, he also showed that when he’s at his best, he is one of the fastest drivers on the grid.
Retaining Günther for season 10 is an absolute no-brainer and a smart call by Maserati, with the German actually now being the team’s more experienced driver, as Jehan Daruvala has moved from Formula 2 to replace Edoardo Mortara.
There are some areas that Maserati need to improve on, with consistency being one of them based on how contrasting their performance was in each half of season nine. However, Günther does believe that taking the fight to the Jaguars and the Porsches isn’t only possible, it’s what the team are targeting for Formula E’s centurion campaign.
“It’s definitely what we target for next season,” Günther said during a virtual roundtable to select media, when asked by Motorsport Week if it’s possible to fight the Jaguars and the Porsches next season.
”I think our second half [of season nine] was good and we know that for sure the main opposition will most likely be Jaguar and Porsche as they’ve been [at the top] last year at the end.
”I feel with the base we have, with the ideas we have as well, what to work on, what to improve. Yeah, for sure,” Günther added in regard to trying to beat the leading sides in 2024.
“Our ambition is to fight against them and just to basically do the best possible job from our side every weekend that we can do and then we will see where we will end up against them.”