Max Guenther and his team principal Roger Griffiths both attributed the German’s last-lap overtake in Saturday’s Santiago E-Prix to successful battery temperature management in scorching conditions.
A forceful move late in the race put DS Techeetah’s Antonio Felix da Costa ahead of Guenther but the BMW I Andretti Motorsport driver was able to fight back on the last lap with da Costa nursing an overheating battery.
Air temperatures of 34 degrees Celsius (93 degrees Fahrenheit) in the Chilean capital made overheating considerations a vital part of the race, and BMW believes it managed this better than its rivals at DS Techeetah.
“Towards the end of the race, we saw that the two Techeetah cars were gaining rapidly, but we always knew that we were controlling the situation well and managing the temperature of the batteries better,” said team principal Griffiths.
“We were proved right, as you could see with Antonio at the end.”
Added Guenther: “In the heat, it was also important to keep an eye on the temperature of the batteries. We did that really well.
“On the final lap, Antonio had to coast a little earlier than me on the straight. I thought to myself, ‘Nnow or never’ and went for the overtake. Fortunately, it came off.”
Guenther, aged 22, becomes the youngest winner in ABB FIA Formula E Championship history and described the success as “a dream come true”.
His usage of Attack Mode allowed Guenther to pass Pascal Wehrlein and Mitch Evans, moving up the field despite a slow start.
“I am incredibly happy to take the first win of my Formula E career here in Santiago,” he said.
“Second place in qualifying was superb. Having not made a great start on the dirty side of the track, which cost me a position, we used Attack Mode very cleverly to allow me to take the lead.”