Formula E

Maserati Mechanics Heroics End in Bitter Diriyah Heartbreak

3 Mins read
Credit: Simon Galloway courtesy of FIA Formula E

Maserati MSG Racing will be starting to wonder when things will start to go their way, with the pre-season pacesetters having had the absolute worst luck in the opening two rounds of the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

The Monte-Carlo based team came into the new season and the Gen3 era hugely optimistic, and rightly so, with the Maserati Tipo Folgore having looked exceptional at the official pre-season test. Mexico City, though, didn’t go how the team would’ve liked it to, as Edoardo Mortara crashed out and Maximilian Günther narrowly missed out on the points in eleventh.

There were hopes going into this weekend’s Diriyah E-Prix that things would be better, and initially it did look like Maserati would finally join the points party, with Mortara in particular having looked solid in the early Free Practice sessions. Unfortunately for Maserati, when it rains it pours, with Team Principal James Rossiter‘s face having said all that needed to be said after the group stage of qualifying.

Günther suffered a massive crash on the outside of Turn Seven after locking-up when attempting to brake for the corner, with the German having ploughed straight into the barrier as a result. The front-right of his car was destroyed, with the true extent of the damage having actually gone beyond the part of his car that made the collision with the wall.

Whilst the mechanics were beginning to process the immense repair job they’d have to do on Günther’s car, Mortara heavily hit the wall on the outside of Turn Sixteen, after losing the rear on the dusty part of the circuit. The rear of his car, again, collided heavily with the wall, causing severe damage to the rear of his car. Rossiter’s face went from one of despair, to disbelief, with the side simply being in need of a stroke of luck!

Incredibly, despite the heavy damage to the rear of Mortara’s car, the Maserati mechanics performed an absolute masterclass, with Mortara having managed to start the race; albeit, from twentieth on the grid. The Swiss driver showed really good pace in the race and was rewarding his team for their heroics, by delivering a stellar drive. However, just when things couldn’t get any worse, the thirty-six year-old got an unfortunate puncture and went on to not be classified as a finisher in the race.

“Today hasn’t been easy, but behind the difficulties, I think there are some positives to take,” explained Mortara.

“Our pace during practice was quite competitive, we showed some major improvements, and although qualifying didn’t go as we hoped, the performance in the race was fantastic.

“It’s always tricky to start from that back of the grid but from 20th I was able to make good progress through the field before an unfortunate puncture but I’m optimistic for tomorrow. If we can have another strong practice and qualify well, I think points can definitely be on the table.”

On the other side of the Maserati garage, Günther was unable to compete in the first race of the double-header at the Riyadh Street Circuit, with the German having needed repairs done to the chassis of his car, something there simply wasn’t enough time for before the race.

“We clearly took a step in the right direction from FP1 to FP2. I felt more comfortable in the car and the progress was good,” said Günther.

“The crash in qualifying was very unfortunate, and that defined my day. I was halfway through my first push lap, I locked the fronts under braking and that meant that I was unable to slow the car down. It was a big crash with a lot of damage, and that’s why we weren’t able to do Race One. We take it as it is, and that’s racing, but tomorrow is a new day full of new opportunities. I can’t wait to get in the car again. We are a strong team.”

Mortara, Günther, Rossiter and the entire Maserati team will be hoping for better fortunes on Saturday, with it being a brand new day full of opportunities.

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