22 Jan 21

Guenther: 'Accelerate will show just how tough Formula E is'

The qualifiers are over, and a grid of world-class sim racers and Formula E stars is taking shape ahead of the opening event of Formula E: Accelerate on February 28. Maximilian Guenther says the series is going to prove to be a real insight for sim racers as to what it's like in the Gen2 cockpit.

Formula E: Accelerate kicks off on Thursday evening, with the confirmed driver line-up imminent - keep your eyes on fiaformulae.com for more on that this week - and BMW i Andretti Motorsport race-winner Maximilian Guenther is intruigued to see how the best of the sim racing talent set to fill a seat get on.

From Round 1, the field will be competing for the chance to win a share from a minimum €100,000 prize pool alongside a real-world drive of a Gen2 car, with the level of competition jumping to the next level following the Race at Home Challenge with the addition of energy management and ATTACK MODE - key components of any Formula E race weekend.

'Formula E's like nothing else for a driver'

"It’s going to be a good challenge for the sim racers, and actually quite a big one," said the Bavarian. "We do a lot of preparation ahead of a race weekend and we need this preparation with the team to get on top of energy management and strategy and things like that.

READ MORE: Cassidy: 'Formula E: Accelerate will be a baptism of fire'

"It’ll be super nice for people to get more of an insight into Formula E and about the challenges we have in the car. You get a feeling for it if you listen to the team radio during an E-Prix but I think the more people that experience these challenges, it’ll show just how complicated and difficult this championship is for a driver compared to anything else."

Managing the trade off between deployable energy, raw pace, and the timing and strategy around when to activate ATTACK MODE are integral aspects of any E-Prix. 

Bringing this into the fold in the sim for Accelerate adds another level of depth to the challenge, and one the rapid sim racers won't be used to from racing elsewhere.

Sim racers of the highest order

That said, Guenther's seen first hand the quality on show from those top sim racers that are every bit a professional as any driver in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship in their own right and he intimates they'll be best placed to adjust.

READ MORE: What's ATTACK MODE?

"Back during Race at Home, we got the chance to race against quite a few of the sim racing guys in that first period of lockdown and it was interesting to see the level of these guys," said the 23-year-old. "They’re doing nothing else – it’s professional for them and not gaming but an esport. It’s amazing what they can do and what they explore to get better in these simulations.

"It’s really interesting to see from a driver’s perspective and it’s a great insight into what they do to get where they are in esports. It will definitely be very right and as is usual in Formula E, it’ll be extremely difficult to predict. Taking on these guys is a big, big challenge."

Formula E

Formula E: Accelerate kicks off this Thursday from 7PM UTC, with the confirmed driver line-up to be revealed a day prior