Maserati Monaco Sports Group (MSG) Racing’s struggles continued in Cape Town on Saturday, with both drivers forced to retire from the race, despite improvements in performance.
MSG’s improvements in performance have been incremental but discernable in recent races. Having had the pace to challenge for the title last season, the Monaco team found themselves relegated to the lower mid-table at the start of this Gen3 era.
However, it seemed that MSG were ready to challenge in Cape Town, South Africa on Saturday. Edoardo Mortara had pace but put his car in the wall towards the end of qualifying, leaving the team in a race against time to reconstruct his car before the race.
Maximilian Günther fared much better, and worked his way into the pole position shoot-out. Ultimately, the German driver started second on the grid, whilst Mortara would start from the pits.
High hopes, but ultimately disappointment
Mortara would start the match, but he wouldn’t get far, the Swiss driver’s machinery broke down on him early on, leaving Günther as the only MSG driver left in the race.
Günther was involved in an exciting battle with Sacha Fenestraz, and at one point led the race. However, he ceded his position on lap 14. The German was still in line for a podium, but he then clipped the wall on lap 21, sustaining suspension damage, and being forced to retire. Neither MSG car, therefore, finished the race.
“Season 9 hasn’t been the easiest of starts, but after showing great pace in practice and making it into the final duel in qualifying here in Cape Town, we had some high hopes for the race. It’s disappointing not to see those hopes realised,” said MSG team principal James Rossiter post-race.
The grid next heads to São Paulo on 24th March where MSG will be hoping that their lofty aspirations are converted into points.
Photo by Maserati MSG Racing