MS&AD Andretti Formula E team had a challenging time at last weekend’s 2018 Rome ePrix, with both cars missing out on a points paying position despite strong recovery drives from both Antonio Felix Da Costa and Tom Blomqvist.
Despite starting from the tail of the grid following a qualifying pit-lane altercation with the Dragon Racing car of Jose Maria Lopez, the Portuguese racer had a great start and was inside the top ten by the end of the first stint of the race. However, with Felix Da Costa having to use more energy earlier to make up for lost time, the second half of his race was compromised, having to do more energy management than was ideal, which dropped him outside the points by the end of the race.
Although considering where the Portuguese racer started the day, it was a strong recovery drive from Felix Da Costa, and will be looking for more points next time out in Paris.
The Portuguese racer was disappointed to miss out on points, although pleasantly surprised at the recovery drive after starting from the back of the grid: “It was a good recovery during the race after the incident in qualifying when we had to start the race from the very last position.”
“We chose an aggressive strategy by doing a short first stint. I overtook a lot of cars and used the energy very well. We knew that the second stint would be hard because we had less energy than the others but we came home just short of scoring points in 11th. I think we showed that we had some potential to score some solid points this weekend. We take the positives and go to the next one.”
As for his team-mate Tom Blomqvist, after starting a sprightly twelfth on the grid, the British racer was hit from behind by the Nio Formula E car of Luca Filippi on the second lap of the race which relegated him to last place. By which time, chance of a points finish had vanished, but was still able to recover to fifteenth place.
Blomqvist was disappointed after a race of what might have been for him: “It was a difficult race. I was hit from behind and spun around on the second lap which put me into last place. Then we ran out of energy on the last lap before coming in for the pit stop and got stuck in the pit lane. We lost a lot of time there. Basically from there the race was extremely compromised and it was pretty disappointing not being able to have a clean run. That would have been nice after a decent qualifying.”
It was a frustrating weekend for Andretti who now drop behind Dragon for the first time this season, which means that they lie at the bottom of the teams championship ahead of the next round in Paris on 28 April.