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The Maserati of Maximilian Günther

Jakarta qualifying: Günther does it again, Cassidy continues to struggle

Maximilian Günther continues on from yesterday's unbelievable form

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Maximilian Günther is in a league of his own here in Jakarta, taking back-to-back pole positions. 

Maserati driver Maximilian Günther
Could Günther convert the pole to a win? (Image credit: Maserati)

With yesterday’s race turning up the heat in the championship battle, today’s qualifying could prove that bit more crucial than usual. Yesterday’s race winner Pascal Wehrlein started P3, while championship leader Nick Cassidy started in P10.

As just two points separate them in the championship standings, Cassidy will want to prevent Wehrlein from having a repeat performance; a good position in qualifying would enable him to do that.

Meanwhile, there must be something about Jakarta that Maximilian Günther loves, as once again the Maserati man topped the timesheets in free practice. That’s FP1, FP2, Fp3 and Saturday’s qualifying all under his belt. As we headed into qualifying with Günther’s flying form in mind, back-to-back poles for Maserati looked to be a real possibility…

The Groups

Group A

Sacha Fenestraz was the first to set a time with a benchmark of 1:08.798. It was long before this was surpassed, though. Cassidy and Dennis were both faster, Cassidy the quicker of the two with a 1:08.623.

Fenestraz was still in good contention for the duels, remaining third fastest. As Dan Ticktum tried to improve upon his time, the NIO 333 driver went wide, going offline and sending himself into a spin. Ticktum recovered well, keeping it out of the wall and getting back on his way.

One minute left

After a pause in the pits, the drivers came back out on track to set their last flying laps. Nissan’s Fenestraz and Nato were the first to give it a go, Fenestraz faster than his teammate by three-tenths. Sacha Fenestraz’s lap put him fastest of the pack, with McLaren’s Jake Hughes putting in a great lap that pushed him up to second. Jake Dennis was on a flyer, with championship leader Nick Cassidy also attempting to secure his place in the duels.

Dennis was successful – going first fastest – but Cassidy lost out. For the second time this weekend, Nick Cassidy was out of qualifying in the group stage.

Through to the quarter-finals: Dennis, Fenestraz, Evans, and Hughes

Group B

The Porsches were the first to go quickest: first Wehrlein, and then António Félix da Costa, who had a tricky time of it yesterday. Edoardo Mortara soon went faster — but only just. A mere 0.007s separated the Mortara and da Costa, whilst Wehrlein was just 0.039s behind his teammate. 

In fourth was Stoffel Vandoorne, his teammate Jean-Eric Vergne down in P7. Da Costa and Wehrlein put in another lap, but failed to improve enough to change their place in the standings. Then – perhaps unsurprisingly, at this point – Maximilian Günther went quickest. The Maserati driver recorded a time of 1:08.564, three hundredths up on his teammate.

One minute remaining

The drivers made their way back to the track, Mortara the first to start his flying lap. Mortara improved upon his previous time, going fastest, but Günther bested that time by 0.008s. Da Costa looked on good form, but had to abort his lap after running too wide into a corner. Unable to improve on his time, da Costa was barely clinging onto a place in the top four.

It looked like da Costa might scrape through by the skin of his teeth — until the DS Penskes set their laps. Vergne just missed a place in the duels, losing out to his teammate.

Through to the quarter-finals: Günther, Mortara, Wehrlein, Vandoorne

The Duels
Quarter-final one: Evans vs Fenestraz

Mitch Evans took to the track first, taking a tight but tidy inside line. The two were even, Fenestraz holding onto a very slight advantage. Evans soon gained a full tenth on the Nissan, which then increased to three-tenths. Fenestraz couldn’t claw back any time from Evans, and the duel came to an end with a four-tenths advantage in Evans’ favour.

Evans goes through to the semi-finals. 

Quarter-final two: Dennis vs Hughes

It’s a Jake-off, and Dennis was immediately the faster of the two. Hughes suffered a big snap of oversteer, which did little to help his chances of making it through to the duels. Dennis had a hefty four-tenths lead on Hughes, passing through to the duels with relative ease.

Dennis goes through to the semi-finals.

Quarter-final three: Wehrlein vs Mortara

Wehrlein’s been quick this weekend, but so too has Mortara. The Maserati driver was quicker off the line, holding onto an advantage over Wehrlein the entire qualifying lap. Mortara made it through to the next duel practically unchallenged.

Mortara goes through to the semi-finals.

Quarter-final four: Vandoorne vs Günther

Could Günther do it again? The initial moments of the duel suggested yes, as Günther was immediately up on Vandoorne. Though only 0.077s ahead initially, this gap continued to grow until Günther was a comfortable 0.350s up on the DS Penske driver.

Günther goes through to the semi-finals.

The Semi-Finals
Semi-final one: Dennis vs Evans

The Avalanche Andretti of Dennis was out first, but it was Evans who carried the advantage into the first corners of the circuit. Evans continued to increase the gap between the two of them, but Dennis kept fighting back, catching up to Evans. The Jaguar driver’s lead was marginal, and it all came down to his performance in the final sector.

Dennis just snuck through to the final — and only just, as there were no more than 0.001s between the two of them.

Dennis goes through to the final.

Semi-final two: Mortara vs Günther

The Maseratis took each other on in the last of the semi-finals. Mortara suffered some oversteer, handing Günther a healthy advantage over his teammate. Though Mortrara made a valiant effort to catch up to his teammate, Günther remained untouchable.

Günther goes through to the final. 

The Final: Günther vs Dennis

Deja vu? It’s a repeat of yesterday’s final, Günther and Dennis taking each other on once again. Here was Dennis’ opportunity to get one back on Günther after losing out to the Maserati in yesterday’s final.

Günther was off on his flying lap first, carrying an advantage through the first sector as Dennis took a wider line. It was a comfortable one-tenth lead for Günther, which only continued to grow, the Maserati driver soon a whole half a second up on Jake Dennis.

Günther is unbeatable in qualifying yet again, taking back-to-back pole positions. The Maserati driver’s one-lap pace this weekend has been phenomenal — but there’s still plenty to play for in the race. Jake Dennis could be well in with a chance of winning it.

Full starting grid can be found here

Featured Image Credit: Simon Galloway / Formula E Mediabank

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