Maserati MSG Racing pointless after Formula E season-opener in Mexico

Maserati MSG Racing began the Gen3 Formula E era with a disappointing result in Mexico City on Saturday. Maximilian Günther finished just outside the points, whilst Edoardo Mortara failed to finish.

The Monégasque brand endured a difficult opening weekend of the new Formula E season. The team looked off the pace in the free practice sessions, qualifying, and most importantly, during the race.

Mortara, who was in contention for the Formula E title until the final race this season, could only manage 16th in qualifying and was forced to retire from the race on lap 18th after a snap of oversteer sent him towards the barriers.

That left Günther as the only Maserati MSG Racing team in the race in Mexico City. Having qualified 17th, the German, who joined the Monaco team in the summer, went on the attack late on. He worked his way up to 11th, but couldn’t enter into the points-scoring positions, meaning that the team finished the opening weekend pointless.

Reflecting on the difficult weekend, Team Principal James Rossiter was determined to take the positives. “It was a difficult day but in motorsport, you learn the most from bad days – not your good ones… We have a lot to learn and there is a lot of data that we need to process from this weekend so that we can be in a better position for the next race,” he said.

The grid next heads to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia later this month, where the Monaco Formula E team will be looking to register their first points of the season.

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Photo by Maserati MSG Racing

Monaco ruthlessly demolish a poor Ajaccio side

AS Monaco scored seven, including a 14-minute Wissam Ben Yedder hat-trick as Les Monégasques beat Ajaccio 7-1 in a result that sees them move up to fourth in Ligue 1.

For the first time since August 1984, Monaco scored five goals in the first half of a match. Axel Disasi began the scoring before the two-minute mark, jabbing in from close range. The writing was on the wall for the Corsican side, who were two goals behind just five minutes later. This time is was Krépin Diatta, who had arguably his best match in red and white, who was in the right place to tap in from close range.

Photo by Monaco Life

Ajaccio showed signs of revolt just a couple of minutes later, Youcef Belaïli curling home from just outside the box to halve the score. However, that goal affected the rhythm of the game very little, and Les Monégasques continued their barrage. Ben Yedder got his first after some good collective pressing before doubling up soon after with a good finish from a tight angle from Aleksandr Golovin’s through ball. His hat trick, scored in just 14 minutes, was completed from the spot after Diatta was brought down in the box.

The three goals makes him the joint third-highest goalscorer in Monaco history. He now has 89 goals and is level with Christian Dalger.

The scoring didn’t relent after the break. Breel Embolo was on the pitch for just 133 seconds before he added Monaco’s sixth. He should have then doubled up just a few minutes later, but he couldn’t keep over the ball and direct a well-placed cross on target.

However, the Swiss striker completed the scoring in the dying minutes with a composed chipped finish past Benjamin Leroy. After a match described by manager Olivier Pantaloni as a “collective shipwreck”, Ajaccio sink further into relegation trouble, whilst Monaco rise to fourth in the Ligue 1 standings, above Stade Rennais on goal difference.

Post-match Philippe Clement expressed his satisfaction with his side’s intensity and concentration: “We started well. We were aggressive and showed good movement, and scored two quick goals. The goal we conceded was unnecessary, but then we picked up straight away on and off the ball,” he began.

He continued, “5-1 at half-time was deserved, it’s not as if we scored all our chances, we could have had more. At that moment it is important to then remain focused because it’s easy to let the rhythm slip. We spoke about that. They then played a good second-half with more goals and conceded just one chance and that is also very important.”

Monaco now have a two-week break before facing Mediterranean rivals Olympique de Marseille at the Orange Vélodrome, in what will be a hugely important match against a rival for the European places.

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Photo by AS Monaco