Formula E

Da Costa title bid takes a hit after post-race penalty

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Credit: Formula E

Antonio Felix da Costa was stripped of his sixth place finish at the Monaco ePrix after he used an illegal power mode in the closing stages of the race.

The Portuguese driver was running in the points when he made contact with Mitch Evans, causing da Costa to grab his steering wheel and accidentally switch his car to the 225kW power mode.

With his BMW i Andretti Motorsport team not having access to his telemetry data it took them a lap to realise the mistake and restore the car to the usual power settings.

The race stewards took a dim view on the incident despite it being a mistake, and excluded da Costa from the final race classification taking away his sixth place finish and the eight points that came with it.

Speaking after the race to Autosport, da Costa said that he was expecting the penalty.

“I was going round the corner and Evans braked super late, hit me, forced me off the track and – when he hit me – I lost the steering wheel and hit the power rotary and went to the 225 mode,” he said.

“I had it for a full lap, until the guys saw it and I went back to the 200kW mode. I didn’t gain anything, but I got hit, lost the position and will get a penalty for that.”

Team boss Roger Griffiths also said he was expecting the penalty, and that while he was disappointed with it, the stewards had taken the ‘logical’ decision.

Griffiths said, “As a team, we don’t receive the telemetry, so it took a little while for us to realise what had happened. That meant that he drove using too much energy for a period of time and he has been punished for this rule infringement.

“This was an accidental infringement but the penalty was the logical decision. As a team, we’re very disappointed with this outcome but we respect the decision made by race control.”

Although da Costa doesn’t lose a place in the championship standings as a result of the penalty, he is now seventeen points off current leader Jean-Eric Vergne.

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