Interview with Maximilian Günther: “What we achieved as a team in Santiago means an awful lot to me”.

Munich. Maximilian Günther (GER) earned his place in the
history books in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship with victory at
the Santiago E-Prix (CHI). In an interview, the youngest Formula E
winner ever discusses the eventful race, his mental strength, the
reasons behind the strong start to the season for the BMW i Andretti
Motorsport Team, and his goals for the season and the coming years. 


Maximilian, how many messages did you receive in the first few
days after your win in Santiago?


Maximilian Günther: “A heck of a lot. It took a few
days to get around to answering them all.”
Now you’ve had time to reflect, how do you rate your success?


Günther: “I am still absolutely delighted,
particularly as I enjoy watching the footage of the race and reliving
the emotions time and again. As I said straight after the race, the
victory was a dream come true for me. What we achieved as a team in
Santiago means an awful lot to me. One year ago, I had to take a break
from my Formula E career after the race in Santiago. To now win,
twelve months later, at the same venue, shows that I was right to keep
believing in myself, working hard, and sticking to my guns.”
What does it mean to you to be the youngest winner in the
history of Formula E?


Günther: “It is definitely cool to see my name on the
top of this record list, although it goes without saying that the win,
the 25 points and the trophy, with which I associate all those
fantastic emotions, are more important to me. Let’s see how long I
hold that record for.”
After the extremely exciting closing stages of the race, BMW
Group Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt praised the way you drove
so “maturely and calmly”. How were the final laps in the cockpit for you?


Günther: “The last ten laps were very intense, for
several reasons. You had the heat, which meant we had to be very
careful about energy management and the temperature of the batteries.
The amount of race time remaining meant that, for a long time, it was
uncertain whether or not we would have to drive another lap. As such,
we were on the radio a lot discussing the strategy. Then António Félix
da Costa came storming up behind me, because he and his team had
apparently banked on not having to do an extra lap. When he passed me
with an aggressive manoeuvre, I stayed calm and concentrated on how I
could still win the race, as it was clear to me that the issue of
temperature was more critical for António than it was for me. I did
not give up, stayed with him and, fortunately, was able to counter
decisively on the final lap.”
Is the ability to stay calm one of your biggest strengths?


Günther: “I believe I am very good at doing my own
thing and focussing on myself. That certainly helped me in such a
complicated and hectic race. However, that does not only go for me
personally. As an entire team, we focussed solely on getting the best
out of the race situation for us. That worked out superbly.”
In your opinion, what was the key to your win?


Günther: “There were several factors. Firstly, the
timing of our second ATTACK MODE was perfect. I was able to overtake
both Pascal Wehrlein and Mitch Evans and take the lead. That gave me
two crucial advantages. I had a clear track ahead of me, which meant
the batteries were cooled better, and I was able to drive a little
more economically and thus go easy on the battery for a few laps. That
paid dividends in the closing stages. Then there was the outstanding
communication with my race engineer. I am very happy that we
understand each other so well, even after the short time I have been
in the team. We have both worked very hard on that in recent months.
We trust each other implicitly.”
Generally speaking, how happy do you feel in the BMW i
Andretti Motorsport Team?


Günther: “Right from the first test, I have felt
extremely happy in the team and have settled in very quickly. From the
word go, I felt my biggest task was, as quickly as possible, to get on
so well with every member of the team that we are able to work
together at the highest possible level. We are making good progress in
that regard, but there is definitely still room for improvement. After
all, that was only my third race for the team. It is obviously great
to be rewarded so early for the hard work with a win.”
How would you explain the impressive start to the season for
BMW i Andretti Motorsport?


Günther: “Several factors play a part. For one thing,
BMW i Motorsport and the Andretti team complement each other very
well. Everyone contributes as well as possible with their own
particular strengths. Then, the experience that the team gained as a
works outfit in Season 5 certainly also plays a role. Furthermore, the
guys in Munich are doing a mega job developing the drivetrain.
Alexander Sims and I also have a great relationship and are very open
with each other when it comes to sharing our experiences. All the
jigsaw pieces are coming together very nicely at the moment.”
What are your goals for the rest of the season?


Günther: “My goal for this season is to continue on
the path we have embarked on. We must focus on ourselves, do our
homework, and thus improve continuously over the course of the season.
We must wait and see what that brings us come the end of the season.
In the medium and long term, my goal is to win the title in Formula E.
That does not have to be this season but, generally speaking, that is
what I aspire to.”