Da Costa hoping disappointing Buenos Aires ePrix might be wake-up call for Andretti


2016/2017 FIA Formula E Championship. Buenos Aires ePrix, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Saturday 18 February 2017. Photo: Sam Bloxham/LAT/Formula E ref: Digital Image _SLB6973

Antonio Felix da Costa has said that MS Amlin Andretti’s disappointing Buenos Aires ePrix might act as a wake-up call that will allow the team to make steps forward in future.

The American team were talking up their chances ahead of the race having run well at the track in previous years, and da Costa also having secured a win there in season one.

However the weekend proved to be a huge let down as the team failed to show any competitive pace in qualifying or the race.

Things started to go wrong in free practice one when da Costa crashed heavily, leading to the team having to conduct a quick rebuild of his car.

A mistake in qualifying then saw him only start in seventeenth, with battery problems meaning he was only able to climb up to eleventh by the end of the race.

Speaking afterwards da Costa apologied for his crash, but said that the poor result might inspire a turnaround for the next race in Mexico.

He said, “I was looking forward to this race, but today I made things a little harder on us with the crash in FP1 – sorry to the MS Amlin Andretti crew for that.

“We tried to come back from that and then I made another mistake in qualifying and we had some small issues with the battery.

“Problems just kept adding up, and when everything happens in one day it’s just hard to build confidence.

“We went into the race with a very positive mindset to go forward, but we struggled today.

“I think sometimes we need bad days like this to wake up and do big steps forward. That’s what I’m hoping for going to Mexico.”

It wasn’t a much better day for his team-mate Robin Frijns, who only managed thirteenth in qualifying and dropped back to fourteenth in the race.

Andretti Team Principal Roger Griffiths said he was disappointed with the result, and blamed a lack of rhythm for their poor showing.

“Pretty disappointed in all honesty with the way the weekend has gone,” Griffiths said.

“Historically Buenos Aires has been a circuit that has been kind to us in terms of race results.

“Our problems started early on in free practice one with the crash from Antonio. It’s frustrating because we unloaded with a pretty quick car and we never capitalized on that.

“We didn’t execute in qualifying the way we needed to do, and any time you end up starting 13th and 17th you make life hard for yourself during the race.

“We just weren’t able to get into that rhythm during the race.”

It means Andretti have now slipped back to eighth in the team’s championship, with their double points scoring finish in the opening round producing their only points haul.