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Formula E Diriyah ePrix II

How 1:30AM burgers fuelled Maserati MSG's overnight rebuild of Guenther's car

The Maserati MSG team's miraculous turnaround to repair Maximilian Guenther's car overnight after his Friday Diriyah E-Prix qualifying crash ultimately yielded 10th on the grid on Saturday.

Mechanics of Maximilian Günther, Maserati Racing

Guenther carried too much speed into Turn 11 and the understeer prevalent in his car caused him to veer into the barriers, causing significant tub damage on the front-right part of the car.

This ended the German racer's day as the damage was too heavy to prepare his car for the race, and the work carried into the night as the Maserati MSG mechanics prepared his car for Saturday's sessions.

The team had to build up a new chassis to ensure Guenther could race on the second day of the Saudi double-header but, with incomplete spares, a salvage operation had to take place to find parts still in working order.

Explaining the process of getting the #7 car built up for Guenther to drive, Maserati MSG team principal James Rossiter says that the work ethic of his team impressed him - and he helped the cause by visiting a nearby food stall to acquire sustenance for those burning the midnight oil.

"Having both cars damaged in qualifying is tough, especially with the race schedule that we have in Formula E," Rossiter told Autosport.

"And Max's one was the chassis, but we didn't have all the parts from Spark as they hadn't been supplied for building up the spare chassis.

"We had to salvage a huge amount from the damaged chassis, and it made the process very complicated.

"It took the guys from when we got the car back after qualifying, to all the way through the night. I was here with the guys until almost 3:00 AM.

"To say eating hamburgers in the garage at 1:30 in the morning, I wasn't sure I was going to experience that, but now I have!

"What an amazing group of mechanics that we've got in this team. I couldn't be more proud of the team morale and the spirit and the way they went about rebuilding the car - and putting it out there this morning in perfect condition.

"For Max to deliver and get the car in the top 10 in qualifying was nothing short of remarkable."

Mechanics of Maximilian Günther, Maserati Racing

Mechanics of Maximilian Günther, Maserati Racing

Photo by: Andreas Beil

The team had its work cut out as Edoardo Mortara also suffered a crash in qualifying, hitting the exit wall of Turn 16 and damaging the rear suspension.

Rossiter says that the rear end of the Swiss driver's Maserati MSG car was already built up, and thus it was a comparatively easier rebuilding job.

"Edo's car was much simpler to fix because we had the rear end already built up, ready to go.

"We literally unbolted the damaged one and bolted on new one, which is as it should be. We were at the preparation level, which I think is what got us out of any trouble with that."

Mortara then progressed to the duels, the first for Maserati MSG since its rebrand from the Venturi team, after bumping Guenther out at the end of the group qualifying session having been drawn in the same band of 11 drivers.

Although the Geneva-born racer could not beat Mitch Evans in their quarterfinal, Rossiter admitted that it was emotional to see Mortara qualify seventh after the difficulties the team had faced on Friday.

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"It's the first time the season, and I have to say I've never felt so emotional to get a car into the duels," he acknowledged.

"To see Edo qualify P7, I would've signed that at 1:30 this morning when we were in with a partially built chassis and pulling an all-nighter. So it's a remarkable effort from him as well to, to bounce back from his difficult day yesterday.

"In all honesty, it's been a difficult start to the season. He did a great job, and for Max to put his car in the top 10 was a cracking effort."

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