Dominant Gunther takes Jakarta victory
Maximilian Gunther has concluded his Jakarta weekend with a race victory in Round 11, his first victory of the 2023 Formula E season.
The Maserati MSG driver collected consecutive poles and was virtually untouchable in Sunday’s race to win with a margin of nearly three seconds.
Avalanche Andretti’s Jake Dennis came home in second with Mitch Evans on the last step of the podium.
“Very proud moment, over the moon with the victory. To have my first win here in Jakarta, it’s great,” said Gunther.
“I felt really good from FP1 onwards, the package was good – it was just executing.
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“In Formula E, you always have to stay with four feet on the ground; everything can change.
“We have to maximise our package and that’s what we’ve been doing these last couple of races.”
Before the race commenced, Sergio Sette Camara’s NIO 333 entry was wheeled off the grid due to intermittent electrical issues and did not start the race.
A technical issue in the starting procedures for Jaguar TCS Racing’s Sam Bird also saw him out before the the green flag, leaving the eighth row of the grid empty.
Gunther started from pole for the second time this weekend and again took the lead into Turn 1, while Dennis had a cleaner start than yesterday to hold onto second, closing the door on the challenge from Mitch Evans in third, with Sacha Fenestraz fourth from seventh on the grid.
Drivers began to use their Attack Mode on Lap 4, starting with the leader, pushing Gunther to third place and promoting Dennis to the lead.
Dennis then used his Attack Mode two laps later and moved back into third.
David Beckmann, who was replacing Avalanche Andretti’s Andre Lotterer, tangled with Lucas di Grassi on Lap 7 and broke his front right suspension which saw him out of the race.
Evans snatched second place from Gunther into Turn 1 early on Lap 9, but the Maserati MSG Racing driver went side by side with the #9 driver on the next lap to take back the second place through Turns 9 and 10.
Jean-Eric Vergne dropped down the order on Lap 15 after suffering from front wing damage, before retiring from the race. On the same lap, Dennis took his second Attack Mode which moved him back to third place.
When Gunther drove through Attack Mode on Lap 17, he was crucially able to make his way back into the field ahead of Dennis.
The Avalanche Andretti driver looked for the overtake on Lap 19 on the outside of Turn 1 but Gunther was able to hold on to his position.
The same lap saw Nick Cassidy with front wing damage after making contact with championship rival Pascal Wehrlein at Turn 16.
The Envision Racing driver made it back out, but after spending time in pit lane ran the rest of the race in last place.
Gunther was promoted to first as Evans took his Attack Mode on Lap 20 and six laps later had built a lead of more than two seconds.
The battle for the final podium spot between third to 10th place continued as the lead pair gapped the field, Dennis nearly eight seconds ahead of third-placed Evans.
Wehrlein continued to pressure Vandoorne in fourth but had to take his last Attack Mode on Lap 31, pushing him down to seventh place.
Nissan team-mates Fenestraz and Nato moved past Vandoorne on Lap 33, before Wehrlein closely followed at Turn 1 on the next lap – moving Vandoorne down to seventh place.
On the final lap, no one was able to overtake meaning Evans took the last podium place with the Nissan duo fourth and fifth.
Wehrlein had to settle for sixth, leaving him only one championship point ahead of Dennis.
As Cassidy came home with no points from the second race in Jakarta, he lost his championship lead to Pascal Wehrlein, who leaves the weekend on 134 points.
Dennis also passes Cassidy in the standings on 133 points, ahead of the Envision driver by five points.
The next Formula E race is the Portland E-Prix on June 24.