Diriyah. BMW i Andretti Motorsport drivers Maximilian Günther (GER) and Jake Dennis (GBR) have missed out on the points in the opening race of Season 7 in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship in Diriyah (KSA). Günther reached sixth position in the first night race in the history of Formula E and was in with a good chance of mounting an attack on the podium but was forced to retire after sliding into crash barriers around ten minutes before the finish. Dennis gave a solid performance on his Formula E debut, crossing the line in twelfth place. The second race of the season will take place on Saturday.
Günther began the race from ninth on the grid, moving up two places at the start. He then concentrated on driving efficiently, conserving his two ATTACK MODES for the closing stage of the race. After a yellow-flag period saw the BMW i8 Roadster Safety Car at the head of the field, he pushed on and attempted to pull away from the cars behind, only to slide into crash barriers when he lost the racing line. His BMW iFE.21 was too badly damaged to continue the race. Dennis started his first Formula E race from 14th place, gave a consistent performance and managed largely to steer clear of the tough midfield battles. He crossed the finish line in twelfth position. Victory went to Nyck de Vries (NED, Mercedes).
Reactions to race 1 in Diriyah:
Roger Griffiths (Team Principal BMW i Andretti Motorsport, team standings: 10th place):
“Obviously, that was not the race we hoped for. It’s a disappointing start to the season. Maximilian sat in a pretty comfortable sixth position but then lost the car. The left side is damaged but the guys will look at it now and get it fixed for tomorrow. Jake learned a lot today. He had a conservative start, but especially in the second half of the race he showed strong pace. He will sleep on everything he experienced today and will come back stronger tomorrow. So will the whole team. We will analyse what happened today, improve certain things and come back fighting in tomorrow’s event.”
Maximilian Günther (#28 BMW iFE.21, starting position: 9th place, race result: DNF, points: 0, driver standings: 22nd place):
“I had a good start into the race. I gained two positions immediately. For the majority of the race I was in P6 taking care of energy management so I was in a really good position for the final laps of the race to score good points. Then I unfortunately touched the wall in turn 2, crashed into the barriers and damaged the car. I’m really sorry about that for the team. Anyway, all in all I am pretty satisfied with our race pace. Now we have to move on and concentrate on tomorrow.”
Jake Dennis (#27 BMW iFE.21, starting position: 14th place, race result: 12th place, points: 0, driver standings: 12th place):
“There was a lot to learn in my first Formula E race, but all in all it wasn’t too bad. I kept out of trouble and made up a few positions. For me it basically was a day of learning. Tomorrow will hopefully be better. I’ll start in qualifying group two, which will be another challenge for me.”
The FANBOOST vote.
FANBOOST gives Formula E fans the opportunity to vote for their favourite driver and award them an extra boost of power during the race. The five drivers with the most FANBOOST votes receive an extra 100 kJ of power, which they can make use of during a brief time frame in the second half of the race. Fans can vote for their favourite driver in the four days prior to, and leading up to 15 minutes into, each race.