Maximilian Günther in the #28 BMW i Andretti Motorsport iFE.21 finished ninth in the first race and fifth in the second as the ABB Formula E Series ran on the streets of Rome on April 10–11. His teammate, Jake Dennis in car #27, had a difficult weekend, exiting race one after he was hit by another car and finishing thirteenth in the second race after starting from the back of the pack.
Both races started behind the new Mini pace car, the “Mini Electric Pacesetter inspired by JCW.” The Mini made additional appearances due to incidents in both races.
In race one on Saturday, Günther made it into the six-car Super Pole session, where he finished sixth. But he started eleventh because of a penalty that he had incurred in the season opener in Diriyah in February, where the team scored no points. He ran in the tenth and eleventh spots until he was set back by a spin. He recovered to finish ninth. The race ended behind the pace car due to a late-race incident. Dennis was taken out late in the race. His day had begun with a major hit at the end of the first practice session, when NIO’s Oliver Turvey, running at speed, rounded a corner and took out both Dennis and DS Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne, who were sitting on the track waiting to do practice starts. He missed the second practice session as a result. The win in race one went to Vergne.
Günther again made into the Super Pole session for race two, qualifying fifth and running between fourth and sixth throughout the race, falling back briefly after a miscue entering the attack mode section set him back. He recovered to finish in fifth, where he began. Dennis did not make qualifying because of a technical problem. He started from the back of the pack, moving up to thirteenth and setting the third-fastest lap time of the race. The race two win went to Mercedes’ Stoffel Vandoorne.
BMW i Andretti team principal Roger Griffiths said afterward, “This was a weekend of mixed success across the garage. It seems like the bad luck has yet to come to an end for Jake Dennis. We are still investigating the problem that prevented him from getting out in qualifying. At least he finished the race, gained a lot of experience, and got some mileage under his belt. Maximilian Günther made it into Super Pole twice in a row. That is a good step forward. In the race he managed to stay in the leading group. Unfortunately, a missed loop in the activation zone of the attack mode potentially cost us the chance of a podium. In the end he scored some good points which helps in the long run with the championship.”
Formula E competition resumes with a doubleheader in Valencia, Spain on April 24–25.—Brian Morgan
[Photos courtesy BMW Motorsport.]