Maximilian Guenther showed a return to race-winning form in the ABB New York City E-Prix Round 10 thanks to an opportunistic overtake, some exceptional patience and energy management prowess to move from fourth on the grid to first come the chequered flag.
BMW i Andretti Motorsport's Maximilian Guenther pieced everything together perfectly in the first race of an ABB New York City E-Prix double-header, mastering the streets of Brooklyn ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne (DS TECHEETAH) and Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler).
The German measured his pace and managed his usable energy maturely from fourth on the grid to pick his way opportunistically into the lead as Vergne forced his way by polesitter and long-time race leader Nick Cassidy (Envision Virgin Racing) at the hairpin with five minutes to go. Guenther made his efficiency advantage count, with a percentage point of usable energy in-hand over Vergne meaning the Frenchman was unable to fight toe-to-toe with the 24-year-old and had to settle for second spot.
The win couldn't have come at a better time, either at a home race for BMW i Andretti Motorsport team, and with the team boss Michael Andretti watching from the garage.
“For many reasons it was a nice victory, and it was definitely a good feeling to hear the national anthem,” said the 24-year-old. “As home race for the team and to be in New York is something special, especially after a season of ours where very often for us things didn't go our way. We haven’t scored as many points yet as we wanted to and a day like that is very sweet – I’m super happy for the team. Michael (Andretti) was on the podium and it’s a big one for everyone.
READ MORE: How the ABB New York City E-Prix changed everything
“It always depends on your pace and how you can manage the race. We did a good job of both on Saturday. I think from the top four, I don't know how it looked behind, but from the top four, we were the ones with the best energy and this was quite an advantage compared to the others.
“On the other hand, overtaking was not easy. I mean, JEV (Jean-Eric Vergne, DS TECHEETAH) made the move into the hairpin and you saw how difficult it is to stay online. For me, it was a good opportunity to overtake the two race leaders. Then, if you're in the lead, with more energy, it's a good situation."
Guenther's seen his fair share of strife in 2020/21, with a best result of fifth spot in each of Valencia and Monaco to show for his efforts. Teammate Jake Dennis won in Spain, assembling all the pieces necessary on a race day to cross the line first, and post-race in New York City, Guenther referenced just how difficult a task that is in this series.
The win changes nothing for the German, or BMW i Andretti Motorsport, with both driver and team keenly aware of the number of variables and level of competition at play over a Formula E event - he's just happy to have just rewards for his, and the squad's efforts this season and will get down to focussing on London, July 24 & 25.
“On a lot of occasions this year where we’ve had good races and scored points but the details didn't work together and we didn't have the momentum to go one better and get big points on the board. But, I’ve said this many times, even this weekend, that we just keep going and focus on ourselves.
“The philosophy doesn’t change because of the win, as much as I’d like to win every race. Our formula is working and the competition is such that you just need to keep going and doing your thing – no matter if the last race was a high or a low.
“We know what we are capable of and the team knows it. I know it and it's important in this championship where there are so many ups and downs, to always keep going, because there are so many things you cannot influence. So, that's what we have done and we got the reward.”