FormulaNerds Cut To The Race Podcast

On track action at the Jakarta E-Prix

Jakarta E-Prix: Günther puts it all together to cruise to victory

How could Günther's weekend get any better? With a race win, of course

Latest Episode | Cut To The Race Podcast

Maximilian Günther concludes a perfectly dominant race weekend with a win in Jakarta. 

Maserati driver Maximilian Günther
It’s been an unbelievably dominant performance from Günther all weekend. (Image credit: Maserati on Twitter)

Yesterday’s race turned the championship battle up a notch. Pascal Wehrlein, who had been floundering since his dominant start to the season, made a return to his winning ways. Though his championship lead has dwindled, Wehrlein is not yet out of contention. Whilst Nick Cassidy leads the championship, it’s by a margin of only two points. There was all to play for in the second round of the Jakarta doubleheader.

The starting grid

Sérgio Sette Câmara, who was set to start from P15 on the grid, was forced to withdraw from the race due to a technical issue with his car.

As the drivers lined up on the grid and waited for the start procedure to get underway, Sam Bird’s Jaguar was pushed off track and into the pits, an issue forcing him into a pitlane start.

We go green in Jakarta…

It was a strong getaway from Maximilian Günther, who was able to put plenty of space between himself and P2. In P2 was Jake Dennis, who managed to hold onto the position in a much better start than he’d had yesterday.

Sacha Fenestraz had a superb start, up into P4 from P7 within the first sector. ‘No one wants to take the lead’, Günther’s engineer told him over the radio; not long after, Günther elected to take attack mode, passing the lead onto Jake Dennis. It was clear that plenty of drivers would be playing the long game: conserving energy now, in order to battle later.

Pascal Wehrlein had a big lockup on lap 5, managing to avoid making contact with Mortara in front of him. Dennis took his attack mode that same lap, moving Evans up into the race lead. Mitch Evans took attack mode only a lap later, and Dennis re-inherited the lead.

Fenestraz had slipped down to P6, but was doing a great job to fend off Pascal Wehrlein. In P4 now was Stoffel Vandoorne, Edoardo Mortara a place behind him.

No luck for Sam Bird

It became clear around lap 7 that Sam Bird wouldn’t be starting this E-Prix. After sitting in the pitlane with engineers attempting to get the car going, a dejected Bird eventually had to clamber out and make his way back to the garage.

David Beckmann, standing in for André Lotterer at Avalanche Andretti, also had to retire. After running wide and making contact with the wall, Beckmann picked up race-ending damage.

A battle begins

Seemingly out of nowhere, Evans swept in to take second position out from under Maximilian Günther. With many drivers opting to bide their time, Evans’ manoeuvre came as a surprise, but was executed seamlessly.

Mitch Evans wasn’t to remain in P2 for long. A handful of laps later, Günther spotted an opportunity and went for it, storming ahead to take second place back. The two continued to squabble over the position, but Günther managed to hold onto it.

Jean-Éric Vergne, who had started P9, began to tumble down the order after picking up damage to his front wing.

Attack mode activated

Drivers began taking attack mode left, right and centre. Crucially, Günther took attack mode but was able to rejoin the pack in P2 — putting himself in a very strong position. Jake Dennis sent it around the outside in an attempt to overtake Günther, but couldn’t make it stick, a snap of the steering costing him his momentum.

In the middle of the pack, championship challenger Nick Cassidy was up in P7 from P10. Most significantly, he was only a place behind Wehrlein. With only two points between the two, a close battle could be unfolding here…

There’s contact

It was a battle short-lived — and fairly one-sided at that. Nick Cassidy looked to make a move on Wehrlein, but it was doomed from the start. There was never any space, and all Cassidy succeeded in doing was to make contact with the rear of Wehrlein’s Porsche.

Cassidy made a trip to the pits but was able to rejoin the pack, albeit right at the rear. Points were almost certainly off the table for Cassidy, and with Dennis in P2 and Wehrlein in P5, his championship hopes were at stake.

There might be something in the air at Envision, as Cassidy’s teammate made contact with René Rast as he took attack mode. Thankfully it was only a small tap, with neither car taking any damage.

Günther’s flying

Back at the front of the pack, Maximilian Günther had developed a very strong race lead. The Maserati driver had pulled away from the other frontrunners, putting a 2.6 second gap between himself and Jake Dennis.

Jake Dennis had also opened up a sizeable gap between himself and Mitch Evans, the Jaguar driver over four seconds behind. ‘Keep doing what you’re doing’, Evans’ engineer told him over the radio. For now, it looked like Dennis would remain safe in P2.

Eight laps left

Lap 30, and Stoffel Vandoorne was being put under pressure by Pascal Wehrlein. Vandoorne did well to defend from Wehrlein, moving a little aggressively.

Meanwhile, Günther’s engineers seemed very happy with what he was doing: ‘A few more laps like that and we’re sorted’. There was an 11-second interval between Günther and Evans in P3,  but Günther’s energy levels weren’t any cause for concern.

Sacha Fenestraz suddenly made a move on Vandoorne, squeezing past him to P4. But Fenestraz’s teammate Norman Nato saw the opportunity to make a move too, following Fenestraz past Vandoorne, challenging the young French-Argentine for the position he’d just gained.

Fenestraz managed to hold onto it, Nato settling into P5. The loss of momentum for Vandoorne spelt the perfect opportunity for Wehrlein, who moved up into P6. It was a big loss for Vandoorne, for whom it had all unravelled so quickly.

The final two laps

Günther was still in the lead, and looked well on his way to his fourth Formula E win. Jake Dennis, in P2, began planning a move on Günther in sector two. The race was not over yet.

But Günther was too far up ahead… the win belonged to no one but him. As he crossed the line comfortably ahead of Dennis, with a gap of almost three seconds, Maximilian Günther became the race winner.

It’s been an almost unbelievably dominant weekend for Günther and Maserati, who aren’t even in championship contention. Topping the timesheets in FP1, FP2 and FP3, and after taking back-to-back pole positions, Günther has gone from strength to strength all weekend.

As if that wasn’t enough, with Günther’s victory today he took Maserati’s first single-seater win in a World Championship since Juan-Manuel Fangio in 1957.

The full race results

Featured Image Credit: Simon Galloway / Formula E Media Bank

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.

Back to the top