BMW's Maximilian Günther took his second podium of the season in Marrakesh...
Maximilian Günther is fast becoming BMW i Andretti Motorsport's hot ticket – a message he hammered home at round five of this season’s ABB FIA Formula E Championship. Following qualifying for the Marrakesh E-Prix the German would line-up on the front row of the grid, setting the fastest time in the regular qualifying session – earning himself a point towards the Drivers’ Championship – and only losing out in the Super Pole shootout to António Félix da Costa (DS Techeetah) by just 0.069 seconds. BMW's Alexander Sims lined up from eighth place, so the two would enter the race with slightly different strategies.
Günther spent much of the early stages of the race challenging for the lead, though efficiency and energy management played a key role. Meanwhile Sims focussed on saving as much energy as possible in the first half of the race with a view to using it to his advantage in the latter stages. It was a tactic that paid dividends in the second half of the race for the Briton, repeating his fightback in Mexico City, Sims moved up to fifth, though during a battle with Edoardo Mortara's Venturi contact broke the No27 car's track rod, forcing Sims to retire on the last lap of the race.
Up front Günther had slipped back to third but became embroiled in a spectacular battle for second place with Jean-Éric Vergne's DS Techeetah, eventual winner Félix da Costa pulling clear during the melee. However, Günther made a decisive overtaking manoeuvre on the final lap to bring his No28 BMW iFE.20 home in second. The young German recorded his second top-three result of the season having previously taken victory in China, the points haul puts him fourth in the Drivers’ Championship standings, just behind teammate Sims in third. BMW i Andretti Motorsport is currently second in the Team standings with 90 points.
“I am really very happy with second place," Günther revealed, "Today was all about managing the race intelligently. In the first half of the race I was still able to challenge António for the lead. In the end, however, he was simply a little bit too good. Congratulations to him on the win. I then had the battle with Jean-Éric towards the end of the race, in which I fortunately came out on top, thanks to a late overtaking manoeuvre.”
Sims commented: “Unfortunately, the race once again showed what a thin line there is between fortune and misfortune in Formula E. I lost a few positions at the start, but was then able to save a lot of energy and win back one place after another with the clever use of 'Attack Mode'. It was all looking good until the contact with Edoardo Mortara shortly before the finish, in which my car was damaged. That was that – a real shame. However, congratulations to Maximilian and the team on a deserved podium finish.”
Immediately after the Marrakesh E-Prix BMW took part in an official Formula E rookie test. Austrian BMW DTM driver Lucas Auer and American Andretti Autosport driver Kyle Kirkwood (below) were given the opportunity to drive the BMW iFE.20. Auer completed 86 laps with a personal best time of 1:17.327, while Kirkwood completed 78 laps with a best time of 1:17.272, by way of comparison Günther's Superpole time was 1:17.227 which means Auer was one-tenth behind, Kirkwood just 0.045s adrift.
Formula E Season Suspended
Formula E and the FIA have announced that the 2019/2020 season will be temporarily suspended for at least a two month period, considering the challenge the current COVID-19 health crisis poses to the organisation of events in city centres. Paris, Seoul, and Jakarta, which were scheduled to take place in March, April, and May have already been postponed with more dates likely to follow.
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