BMW i Andretti Motorsport driver Maximilian Guenther says virtual sport can help sportspeople maintain their highest levels with the German set to compete in Round One of the online ABB Formula E Race at Home Challenge on Saturday April 25.
The 22-year-old goes into the online race, live on Eurosport 2 at 15:30, the heavy favourite after cruising to victory in last weekend’s test race, having claimed the Julius Baer Pole Position and holding off the challenge from Stoffel Vandoorne of Mercedes-Benz EQ.
The test event win continues a magnificent 2020 for Guenther, in which he became the youngest ever winner of a Formula E race at the Antofagasta Minerals Santiago E-Prix in January.
The ABB FIA Formula E Championship has been suspended until at least July due to COVID-19, meaning the virtual race series will be the only way for drivers to compete during the isolation period.
But with 23 of the regular Formula E grid set to compete this weekend, Guenther, speaking during a virtual press conference ahead of the race, was eager to stress he is feeling as competitive as ever.
He said: “For sure it is different (racing at home) to real life. But I would say as a sportsman in the virtual world, you have the same willingness to win and to be at the very top.
“Things are a bit unsure for us (sportsmen) at the moment, so as well as the Race at Home Challenge we have to maintain at the highest levels possible for when racing continues again.
“Everything is put into perspective now, as a racing driver you don’t spend a lot of time at home and you always think there are many things you would like to do at home.
“With this time (at home) you really see how great it all is to live our life and to race in all those amazing cities with your teammates. It allows you to reflect on things and understand what is important to you. For me racing is the most important thing and I’m really looking forward to doing it again.”
Saturday’s race will also be the first major fundraising initiative of Formula E’s partnership with UNICEF to support the charity’s global coronavirus appeal, which Guenther says only adds incentive to the competition.
“It is great as well that this race is for a good cause, as well as for the fans, so it is on us to deliver a good show”, the German said.
Watch the ABB Formula E Race at Home Challenge live on Eurosport 2 at 15:30 on Saturday, 25 April.