The 22-year-old lived up to his pre-race billing as favourite after victory in last weekend’s test event, taking the chequered flag ahead of Envision Virgin Racing’s Nick Cassidy – in place of Sam Bird for round one – and Mahindra Racing’s Pascal Wehrlein.
Mercedes-Benz EQ’s Stoffel Vandoorne, considered Guenther’s main rival after finishing second in the pre-season test, began the race on pole position having set a qualifying lap of 59:802 but suffered a crash which pushed him back to finish fifth.
Under the ‘race royale’ format, the last placed driver after each lap was eliminated until only 12 remained with current Championship leader Antonio Felix da Costa and season two champion Sebastien Buemi for Nissan e.dams two high profile victims of the format.
UNICEF ambassador and Formula E fan Rita Ora spoke in the pre-race build up about the partnership with the ABB Formula E Race at Home Challenge to raise funds for the charity’s global coronavirus appeal.
Before the Formula E drivers took to the grid there was a pre-race featuring some of the best gamers on the planet. The opening ‘Challenger Grid’ race was won by Australian sim racer Joshua Rogers racing in a TAG Heuer Porsche. The winning driver at the end of the Challenger series will win real-life track time in a Formula E car when real-life racing resumes.
But it was Guenther who stole the show on the day and continues his magnificent 2020, becoming the youngest ever Formula E race winner in Santiago in January, and now taking the lead in the online racing series.