Formula 1 Racing

Guenther wins in Tokyo after Rowland gives up the lead · RaceFans

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Maximilian Guenther won Formula E’s first race in Japan, denying Maserati a home victory after Oliver Rowland led much of the way from pole position.

Rowland surrendered the lead to Guenther on the 25th lap of 35 when the Maserati driver was yet to claim Attack Mode for the final time. However Nissan’s calculated gamble for Rowland to save energy behind Guenther backfired as the Maserati edged clear over the next three laps and held his lead when he ducked off-line at turn four to take his final Attack Mode activation.

Guenther withstood fierce pressure from Rowland as the chequered flag neared, the Maserati driver backing off to conserve energy after two laps were added to the race distance due to a mid-race Safety Car period. The pair crossed the line separated by just seven tenths of a second.

Jake Dennis rose from fifth on the grid to claim third, pouncing on Antonio Felix da Costa when the Porsche driver made an unsuccessful attempt to take second from Rowland at turn 15. After the race Da Costa urged the stewards to investigate the incident, though replays indicated Dennis left him room at the exit of the corner.

The reigning champion owed a debt of gratitude to his Andretti team mate. Norman Nato backed up the field after the Safety Car’s appearance to let Dennis claim Attack Mode on consecutive laps without losing any positions.

Da Costa finished fourth ahead of Wehrlein, the Porsche team mates having spent the race in close company. Wehrlein benefited from his team mate’s assistance backing up the field for him approaching the Attack Mode zone, but repaid him in doubtful fashion, running into the back of the Porsche and breaking his front wing.

Wehrlein was one of the first drivers among the front-runners to claim Attack Mode, doing so on lap nine, prompting those ahead of him to start doing the same. By the time the Safety Car appeared on lap 20, due to the debris increasingly littering the circuit, leader Rowland had already banked both of his Attack Mode activations, but was becoming increasingly concerned about his energy use.

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Nico Mueller came in sixth, claiming the first points of the season for Abt. Edoardo Mortara originally did the same for Mahindra, but was disqualified after the race for exceeding his energy allowance.

The post-race change to the classification elevated Nick Cassidy to seventh place, having started 19th. That ensured he retained the slimmest of leads in the…

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