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Guenther: “Performance reasons” behind 40-place Formula E Sao Paulo grid drop

A decision to suffer a 40-place grid drop ahead of the Sao Paulo E-Prix after changing parts was for “performance reasons”, says Maximilian Guenther as he recovered to score points.

Maximilian Günther, Maserati Racing, Maserati Tipo Folgore

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

The Maserati MSG driver showed encouraging pace throughout practice and qualifying during Formula E’s trip to Brazil last weekend.

But ahead of the race – which was won by Sam Bird as he scored McLaren’s maiden win in the all-electric championship – both the gearbox and inverter on his Gen3 machine were changed which equated to a 40-place grid drip.

PLUS: How brilliant Bird survived the heat to end Formula E win drought in Sao Paulo

After qualifying third and with no means of serving the full punishment, the German was forced to serve a 10-second stop/go penalty in the early laps of the race.

Despite this, Guenther was eventually able to finish ninth as two safety car periods allowed him to fight with the rest of the pack over the closing laps.

“We had a decision to make before the race weekend with the gearbox,” Guenther told Autosport. “We decided for performance reasons for the rest of the season to make it.

“On this track potentially you can overtake, I think it puts us in a better place for the rest of the year that’s why if you managed to score points like today, it’s fantastic because it’s something we couldn’t expect to be honest.

“Great feeling, great pace, good overtaking moves, step-by-step moving forward and then to finish the race in the points is very good.”

Maximilian Guenther, Maserati Racing

Maximilian Guenther, Maserati Racing

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

When asked post-race if the parts change had been due to damage, Guenther stated “it was only for performance reasons”, which potentially suggested that Maserati MSG may have found a performance boost with its car.

Guenther has scored points in all four races so far this season but has yet to finish higher than fourth in the Mexico City season-opener and already sits 35 points behind championship leader Nick Cassidy.

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Despite being so many points back, Guenther is optimistic the best is yet to come from himself and the team.

“There’s never a guarantee but I think the feeling in the car is very good, I hope we can transfer the form that we have shown here into the coming races,” he said.

“All-in-all, I have to say with the spirit in the team, the feeling I have in the car and the way we move in a good direction with this momentum I think we can achieve good things in the races to come.”

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