Maximilian Günther conquered his maiden Formula E on Saturday in Santiago, the BMW i Andretti snatching the lead on the ultimate lap after a tough battle with DS Techeetah’s Antonio Felix da Costa.
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Poleman Mitch Evans enjoyed a clean start off the grid when the lights went out, but Mahindra’s Pascal Wehrlein promptly dispatched Günther into the first turn.
As everyone jockeyed for position on the opening lap, Porsche’s Neel Jani made contact several cars which forced the Swiss to pit at the outset while championship leader Sims’ run came to a premature halt that triggered a short full course yellow.
Jaguar’s Mitch Evans on pole for Santiago E-Prix
When the racing resumed, Nisan e.dam’s Oliver Rowland clashed with Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird, a contact that destroyed the former’s front wing and spun the latter who then dropped to P19.
Günther made good use early on of his attack mode, blasting past Venturi’s Mortara to seize third. The German continued to build his momentum as he moved into second before slipping past Evans on the approach to Turn 9 with 25 minutes to go.
Behind, Wehrlein lost a spot to Jean-Eric Vergne, with the Frenchman’s DS teammate da Costa sitting fourth at that point. But damaged front left bodywork on JEV’s car forced the ladder to give up his position to the Brazilian and eventually sent him into the pits when the DS Techeetah charger retired.
On a roll, Da Costa passed runner-up Evans and proceeded to hunt down Günther, catching up with the BMW i Andretti driver and barging his way past at Turn 10 as he forced Gûnther to run wide.
But with less than 60 seconds remaining on the clock, Günther was determined to recapture what he felt was rightfully his.
The 22-year-old regained his hard-earned lead going into Turn 9 to become Formula E’s youngest winner, Günther leading home Da Costa, Evans, Wehrlein and Nyck De Vries.
In the championship standings, Mercedes’ Stoffel Vandoorne put himself in charge after three rounds, the Belgian leading Sims by a mere 3 points.
THE PASS for victory by @maxg_official! 🤩#RacingBeyond #BMWi #BMWiMotorsport #ABBFormulaE #SantiagoEPrix pic.twitter.com/fjeWbUiGoo
— BMW Motorsport (@BMWMotorsport) January 18, 2020