Günther delivers Andretti home win
On Saturday, a perfectly judged piece of opportunism delivered German ace Maximilian Günther a well-earned victory in the first race to deliver what was effectively a home win for Michael Andretti’s factory BMW Formula E team. Günther qualified fourth and was running third with eight laps left to run when he leapt past both drivers ahead of him in one move to take a decisive lead.
Super GT and Super Formula champion Cassidy had led from pole position for Envision Virgin and looked on course for his first Formula E win. The Kiwi, so impressive in his rookie season in the electric single-seater series, had driven superbly, even keeping the lead from Vergne when he ran offline to take his mandatory Attack Mode power boost. But double Formula E champion Vergne was always going to make a move at some point and when he did so, sliding down the inside into a tight right-hander, it looked momentarily as if the DS Techeetah ace had timed it to perfection. But then his car ran out of lock and the Frenchman left a big gap down the inside – which Günther quickly filled, shooting from third and into the lead in the blink of an eye.
The victory is Günther’s first of the season, BMW’s last in Formula E as a works team, and the third of his career. Vergne finished second, while poor Cassidy even dropped off the podium as Lucas di Grassi’s Abt Audi entry stole third place.