Formula E: Maserati MSG Racing’s Maximilian Günther turns last place into ninth in Brazil

Maximilian Günther

The Brazilian E-Prix was full of twists and turns, not least of which was the remarkable comeback of Monaco-based Maserati MSG Racing’s Maximilian Günther, who, despite starting in last due to a grid penalty, clawed his way up to a ninth-place finish. 

The race, which was held in São Paolo’s Sambadrome on 16th March, was the fourth of the 2024 Formula E season.  

The practice rounds held great promise for 26-year-old Maximilian Günther and his teammate, Jehan Daruvala, but the young German’s troubles began when he was docked for a gearbox and inverter change.  

Although Maserati MSG Racing chiefs said that the move was “strategically made to unlock performance”, Günther was at a severe disadvantage when it caused him to be moved to the back of the grid with a 40-place grid penalty for the race.  

This put him in 22nd position with a 10-second stop-go penalty attached to make up for the full 40-place penalty.  

Despite this, Günther slowly manoeuvred his way past his opponents, aided by the need for a Safety Car on the seventh lap, to achieve an impressive ninth place.  

“Today, we made the impossible possible,” he said post-race. “Starting from last with the grid penalty and then serving the 10-second stop-go was a big task, but we did the best job we could. To finish ninth with points from such a circumstance is just an amazing feeling. I think we can all be very proud. It was the best possible recovery and outcome from this strategic penalty, and this will put us in a good position for the rest of the season.” 

Maximilian Günther clawed his way back from a P22 start and a 10-second stop-go penalty to earn some crucial points for his team, the Monaco-based Maserati MSG Racing, thanks to his P9 finish. Photo credit: Maserati MSG Racing Media Centre

Daruvala, who joined the Monaco-based team this season, finished the race in P15.  

“Today’s race wasn’t easy at all,” said the 25-year-old Mumbai native. “It was my first experience of Formula E’s peloton style, and it isn’t what I expected, but it was good to get some more laps under my belt and I feel like I learned a lot. After four races, I feel quite confident in the car, especially in qualifying. My goal now is to improve my long-run pace. If I can do that, I think we could be in with a shot at points in Tokyo, which will be a new circuit for everybody.” 


Günther’s incredible comeback wasn’t the only success story to come out of the Brazil stage.  

A last lap pass by McLaren’s Sam Bird, overtaking Jaguar’s Mitch Evans, gave the McLaren team their first-ever Formula E victory. The podium was rounded out by fellow McLaren driver Olivier Rowland, whose fancy footwork on the final bend saw him pass Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein, who finished fourth, and Andretti’s fifth-placed Jake Dennis. 

Read related:

Formula E: Maserati MSG Racing announce 2024 driver lineup


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Photo credit: Maserati MSG Racing Media Centre