11 Feb 20

What a difference a year makes: Max Guenther's remarkable rise explained 

Maximilian Guenther walked away exultant from O’Higgins Park after a fraught showdown in Santiago's capital city, becoming the youngest winner in the history of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. But less than a year ago, the German driver faced a very different situation. From DNF to race winner, we chart the remarkable rise of BMW i Andretti Motorsport driver Max Guenther.

For BMW i Andretti Motorsport's Max Guenther, it's been an interesting 12 months. After signing for the Geox Dragon squad ahead of the 2018/19 season, the young German driver failed to score any points in his first three outings in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship before being axed from the team following a DNF in Santiago last year. But a lot has changed in the space of 12 months. Rounding off the 2020 Antofagasta Minerals Santiago E-Prix with his new team BMW i Andretti Motorsport, Guenther clinched his first ever race win in Formula E, becoming the youngest driver on the top step of the podium in the history of the series.

Few drivers would manage such a feat but the key to Guenther's new-found form lies in his determination. Despite being told he'd not be driving in the next meeting in Mexico City - instead being replaced by Brazilian Felipe Nasr - Guenther held on to what he could.

Rather than turn his back on Dragon or the series, the German driver stayed on in a reserve driver role, biding his time until he was called up for the Rome race to fill in for Nasr who had a clash with his other racing commitments. 

From there, Guenther clung on to his new opportunity with both hands, bringing in much needed points despite not having the best car on the grid. Fifth in Paris and Bern were two high points for the then Dragon driver, who also managed three Super Pole appearances by the end of the season. Soon enough, he caught the attention of BMW i Andretti Motorsport for the 2019/20 season, filling in for Antonio Felix Da Costa, who left for the Championship-winning DS Techeetah team. 

With just days to go until Guenther's next test at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, the German will once again find himself going up against the most competitive line up in motorsport, on a new, longer and more demanding track. While the German driver was once looked upon as an outsider, Guenther now finds himself in the limelight as one of the Championship's main players.