Maximilian Guenther is expected to replace Nyck de Vries at the redesigned Maserati MSG team after the 2021 Formula E world champion’s confirmation at AlphaTauri earlier this month.
De Vries signed an agreement to compete alongside Edoardo Mortara last summer, but he later activated an F1 release clause in his Maserati MSG contract to join Yuki Tsunoda for the upcoming season.
After it became apparent following the Italian Grand Prix last month that De Vries was set to become a full-time F1 driver next year, Maserati MSG began putting together a Backup Plan for its 2023 driver lineup.
In a field of contenders that includes Alex Lynn, Oliver Turvey, and recently-concluded Alfa Romeo FP1 driver Theo Pouchaire, Guenther emerged as a clear favorite earlier this month. It is thought that the Maserati technical team, under the direction of Jeremy Colancon, was the primary factor in the decision to select Guenther.
Sebastien Buemi’s multiple E-Prix victories between 2016 and 2018 were all produced by Colancon. After that, he joined Venturi, where he soon rose to the position of team technical director before being named head engineer in the summer of 2021. Although Guenther is well-regarded by James Rossiter, the new team principal, it is unknown how much of an influence he had on the hiring process.
The German left Nissan in August, just before Norman Nato and Sacha Fenestraz were named the drivers for the 2023 season by the Japanese manufacturers. After winning the Santiago and Berlin E-Prixes in 2020 and the New York City E-Prix in 2021 for the BMW I Andretti team, he comes at Maserati MSG as a three-time E-Prix champion.
The German, however, had a challenging season with a mostly non-competitive Nissan IM03 last year, scoring only six points, which were dispersed between finishes in ninth and eighth place at Mexico City and New York, respectively.
Edoardo Mortara is anticipated to be allowed a run in the DS test and manufacturer car this month as Maserati MSG gets ready to go on the track.
This week, this car will continue to undergo testing in Spain, and Stoffel Vandoorne and Jean-Eric Vergne are anticipated to get behind the wheel. This comes after the new DS Penske entry was formally announced earlier this month.
While the exact date of Guenther’s announcement with Mortara at the revamped team is still unknown, he is anticipated to receive some practice with DS prior to the official Valencia promotional test days in mid-December.
Jaguar is one of the teams that has lately been involved in testing; the team ran at Calafat in early October, but the test was cut short due to Sam Bird’s serious accident. Oliver Rowland will be run by Mahindra this week, one week after Robin Frijns and Nico Mueller tested the Mahindra powertrain that will drive their ABT-powered cars.
At the beginning of October, Porsche spent several days testing at the Mallorca test track with new driver Antonio Felix da Costa. Jake Dennis of Avalanche Andretti also had time behind the wheel prior to departing for the US for his recent IndyCar test with Andretti.
Nissan conducted a test last week in Mallorca with recently signed Nato and Fenestraz both present.