Maximilian Günther in the #28 BMW i Andretti Motorsport iFE.21 won the Saturday race in the ABB Formula E doubleheader run in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn, New York on July 10–11. It was Günther’s third FE win and his first in the series’ Season 7. His teammate Jake Dennis had won in Valencia earlier in the season. Dennis started strong in his first-ever race in Brooklyn, but a puncture set him back; he ultimately retired from the race. Team owner Michael Andretti was on hand for the win, attending his first FE race of the current season.
Günther, managing his energy very well, was running in third late in the race behind pole sitter Nick Cassidy (Envision-Virgin) and Jean Eric Vergne (DS Techeetah). Vergne made a move on Cassidy with about seven minutes remaining in the race. As the two cars made contact, went off the racing line, and slowed, Günther, poised to make a move of his own, took the lead and motored away, holding on for the win.
He said afterward, “Winning here in New York at the team’s home race is very special, but it’s also a special victory because of the season we had so far. Many times things didn’t go our way and we couldn’t score as many points as we wanted to, but we always kept going and focused on ourselves. We know what we are capable of. Today we did a good job managing the race. I had the most energy of all frontrunners left in the end. That is an advantage, but overtaking still is very difficult here. Jean-Éric made the move into the hairpin, both race leaders ran wide, and for me that was the perfect opportunity to overtake both. After that I was in a comfortable situation with the amount of energy I had left.”
The team’s fortunes took a downturn on Sunday, when both cars were caught in the rain in their qualifying sessions. Dennis started nineteenth and Günther started 23rd. The Mini Electric Pacesetter pace car made a brief appearance on the opening lap as Vergne’s car stalled at the start. Once again using clever energy management, Günther was able to score a point, moving up to tenth on the final lap as racers in front of him were forced to slow. Dennis moved up to thirteenth but a miscue going into attack mode set him back. He finished sixteenth. The win went to Jaguar’s Sam Bird.
Going into the series’ penultimate event of the season in London on July 24–25, Günther and Dennis are fourteenth and fifteenth in drivers’ points, and BMW i Andretti Motorsport is sixth in team standings.—Brian Morgan
[Photos courtesy Brian Morgan.]