Monday, June 24, 2024

Maserati’s James Rossiter Against Formula E’s ‘New Form of Racing’

Maserati MSG Racing‘s Team Principal James Rossiter has openly admitted that he’s not a fan of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship‘s “new form of racing”, following another incident-packed Monaco E-Prix.

With it having been the team’s home event, Maserati were targeting a big performance at the Circuit de Monaco, especially after they claimed their first podium of the season in Berlin. Their home E-Prix actually started very well, with Maximilian Günther having topped Free Practice 2, before going on to qualify fourth. Edoardo Mortara also enjoyed a solid qualifying, with the Swiss driver having secured seventh on the grid.

The race itself started as expected for the Maserati duo, with both drivers having managed their energy amongst the points places. Saturday’s race was yet another case, though, of nobody wanting to lead in the opening stages, in a bid to preserve as much energy as possible. It’s become a theme this season to see the pace in the opening laps be incredibly slow, before it ramps up towards the end when energy management is no longer a concern.

As a result, field spread is often minimal given the slow pace, something which usually results in collisions. Saturday was no different, with Mortara having broken his front wing after having to suddenly avoid hitting Günther ahead, who was also trying his best to avoid an incident at the Grand Hotel hairpin. Günther’s race ended up coming to a scary end as they climbed Beau Rivage, after the German went into the back of Dan Ticktum.

Ticktum, though, was dragging his front wing underneath his car after he went into the back of Sacha Fenestraz, with some having questioned why he didn’t get out of the way given his damage. With Günther having retired and with Mortara having fallen to eleventh, Maserati ultimately failed to score any points, resulting in them dropping to eighth in the Constructors’ Championship.

Speaking after the race, Rossiter explained that the races this season have become a “battle to survive” due to the way they’re playing out, with perhaps something needing to be done to address the current style of racing.

“Formula E seems to have adopted a new form of racing, and it’s not one that I like. From the start, the field drove around 8-10 seconds off the pace, simply waiting until they have enough energy compared to the laps remaining and once they have enough, the pace increases. From there it becomes a battle to survive within the train and to not damage the car.

“We showed good pace in practice, took that into qualifying, and the guys drove an efficient race to get to the front group. Unfortunately, with around 10 laps to go, the cars in front came to a near stop in the hairpin which caused Max to swerve in response, but Edo was on his right, and it broke his front wing, there was nowhere for Edo to go. Max’s race ended shortly after that from contact with [Dan] Ticktum.

“Overall, a disappointing race after showing great speed over the weekend.”