A double retirement for Maxmilian Guenther and a Round 2 non-finish for Jake Dennis meant BMW i Andretti Motorsport left Formula E's Diriyah season opener as the only team yet to score a point in Season 7.
BMW i Andretti Motorsport's Maximilian Guenther left Diriyah sure the outfit "will learn lessons from the weekend and come back stronger,” with both the German and Jake Dennis finding themselves caught up in contact in the season-opening ABB FIA Formula E World Championship event, as the team's pointless streak extended to five races.
A coming-together at Turn 18 between Guenther and Tom Blomqvist (NIO 333) just prior to Round 2's stoppage made it two retirements in two for the Bavarian in Saudi Arabia, adding insult to injury with new teammate Dennis coming off worst in a mid-pack battle with Porsche's Pascal Wehrlein.
“It was a very bad day for all of us with two retirements," said the Brit. "My race was actually going pretty well until the accident. I saved a lot of energy and it was looking really good.
"Alexander Sims (Mahindra Racing) first met me, I hit the wall and slightly damaged my front wheel suspension but the car was still drivable. Then Wehrlein came and pushed me into the wall; I couldn't do anything.
"Overall, we could have had a better weekend. I had problems in qualifying, but the race pace was good. Now we have to look ahead and concentrate on the next race. “
Guenther started the weekend well, with ninth in Group Qualifying following a heavy practice shunt that tempered his preparations - the battery of his iFE.21 requiring safety checks to ensure it hadn't been compromised in the crash.
The 23-year-old admitted it was ultimately a weekend to forget, with all focus switching to improvement in Rome after lock-ups and contact with Oliver Rowland (Nissan e.dams) in Round 1 and NIO 333's Blomqvist in Round 2 cost him dearly in Diriyah.
“Of course I’m very disappointed with how the two races in Diriyah went," he said. "Immediately before today’s incident, I had to defend myself against Oliver Rowland, who was using ATTACK MODE behind me.
"My wheels locked on the inside when braking into the curve and I could no longer stop the vehicle. Unfortunately, that’s how I met Tom Blomqvist. Before that, I had no luck with my own ATTACK MODEs that I never really got to take advantage of. Nevertheless, there were still a few points left. We will learn our lessons from this weekend and definitely come back stronger."
So, after that disappointing opener, BMW i Andretti Motorsport heads to Rome on April 10 as the only team yet to score a point in the 2020/21 ABB FIA World Championship. It's now also five races in-a-row without points for the team.
Competition appeared to be closer than ever heading into Formula E's first season as an FIA World Championship. With the lowest-scoring teams from Season 6 - NIO 333 and DRAGON / PENSKE AUTOSPORT - outstripping their points tallies from 2019/20 already; on the evidence of Diriyah, the battle for points and the podium in Formula E has never been more fierce.
Published on 3rd March 2021