Da Costa takes blame as BMW self destruct in Marrakesh

by Tom Cairns

BMW i Andretti Motorsport come away from the second round of the 2018-19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship with a less than expected result in the Marrakesh E-Prix.

After showing strong pace in the previous race in Ad Diriyah, it looked as though Alexander Sims and Antonio Felix Da Costa would carry on the momentum, with the pair making it into Super Pole.

The two BMW i Andretti Motorsport drivers began the race from fourth and sixth places and both made superb starts, quickly moving up to second and third positions. As the race continued, Da Costa took the lead, followed by Sims in second. The outstanding pace of the two BMW iFE.18s allowed the duo to pull away from the rest of the field as they headed for the podium.

However, both drivers missed their braking points as Sims attempted to overtake just a few laps before the end. Da Costa slid from the inside line into the tyre wall and had to retire, while Sims was able to take evasive action before rejoining the race in fourth place. The Safety Car then brought the field back together. Sims continued to battle for a podium position when the race got underway again, with one lap remaining, but was unable to find his way past the competition.

Credit: Formula E

Team Principal Roger Griffiths was “disappointed” with the outcome of the race, as what could have been a special day for his team.

“Unfortunately, that was a disappointing end to a very promising day. Our cars put on a strong performance at the head of the field and were very competitive”, he added.

“Our racing pace was extremely good and a one-two result would have been possible. Regrettably, things didn’t turn out that way.

“Of course, we are disappointed. We have discussed it as a team and we are now looking ahead. We won together in Ad Diriyah. We didn’t manage to repeat that here in Marrakesh and we lost together as a team. We will learn from that.”

Da Costa says that it was his own “mistake” to refuse his team-mate to go past.

“I would like to apologise to the whole team. Alex did a great job today. I held my ground when he drew level with me and my front wheels locked up.

That was my mistake and it had negative consequences for me and for Alex. I should have let him go past and been content with second place.”

Sims believes the German team “will learn” from today’s incident.

“Of course, it is a great shame for the whole team. The race should not have finished like that”, Sims added.

“All of us – me, António and the team – will learn our lessons from what happened. We are all well aware that such incidents are unacceptable. It cost us a one-two result today.”

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