Günther Triumphs in Tokyo, Rowland Reflects on Missed Opportunities at Nissan’s Home Race

Photo credits: Formula E |Alastair Staley
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In the electric atmosphere of Tokyo’s inaugural E-Prix, the battle between Maximilian Günther and Oliver Rowland captivated fans, with Günther clinching a hard-fought victory. This race marked a historic moment for Formula E, showcasing intense competition on the streets of Japan’s bustling capital.

Maximilian Günther, driving for Maserati MSG Racing, delivered an outstanding performance, securing victory in what was a tightly contested race. Reflecting on his win, Günther expressed his affection for Tokyo and the welcome he received, emphasising the technical challenges of the track.

“It’s amazing that we’ve raced here. It’s such a nice city and such a nice country. I love the culture, and we’ve felt very welcomed here,” Günther said.

Photo credits: Formula E | Alastair Staley

He continued, “It’s a great track, it’s very challenging and very technical and then to win the first ever Tokyo E-Prix… it’s a huge feeling. I think in general we can be really proud of what we’ve done this weekend: being in the top 3 in all the sessions, always up there and then to walk away with the winning trophy is great.”

Günther’s strategic ability was on full display as he navigated the race with precision. “I think we executed the race pretty well, the strategy was good and I pulled off a few good moves to move up and then we defended against Ollie right up until the last lap. It was pretty tight. It definitely wasn’t easy, I think I just surprised him in Turn 10,” he added, highlighting the crucial moments that led to his victory.

Oliver Rowland, representing the NISSAN Formula E Team, found himself in a strong position from the get-go, securing pole position and leading for significant portions of the race. However, a combination of strategic challenges and a critical safety car phase saw him lose his lead to Günther. Reflecting on the race, Rowland acknowledged the difficulties posed by the energy management, especially after the safety car period.

“I was just about managing to under-consume and keep him behind before the Safety Car but I knew their targets in terms of energy were probably building, and unfortunately after the Safety Car the target dropped quite significantly,” Rowland explained.

Despite the setback, Rowland took pride in his qualifying performance and the support from Nissan’s top brass. “[On his qualifying pole position] I think there was an element of having the big bosses in the garage, knowing the expectation and it’s just incredible to see all the support for Nissan,” he stated, reflecting on the pressures and expectations of racing on home soil.

Photo credits: Formula E |Alastair Staley

As Tokyo’s first-ever E-Prix concluded, Günther and Rowland left an indelible mark on the championship, showcasing the dynamics of Formula E racing. Their battle on the track not only provided a show for the fans but also set the stage for an intensely competitive season ahead.