Felix da Costa furious at Formula E race stewards in London after penalty: "They are not good enough!"
An unprecedented three-minute time penalty for a "technical infringement" cost Porsche driver Antonio Felix da Costa his Formula E podium at Saturday's race in London. In retrospect, it turned out that his right front tyre had been under the minimum pressure. As the Portuguese identified damage to the tread caused by a carbon part through no fault of his own as the cause, he went on a massive rant about the race stewards and the technical delegate of the racing series after the race - and announced a protest from Porsche.
"It looks like my front right tire was underpressured," Felix da Costa described to e-Formula.news. "We're not playing with legality rules, we're not trying to find performance optimizing tyre pressure. I had a puncture! I had 0.7 Bar left, caused by debris." This was well below the minimum tyre pressure of 1.2 bars specified by supplier Hankook.
Even during the race interruption due to red flags, there had therefore been discussions, Felix da Costa describes further: "Initially the FIA said, I had to change the tire, which means I have to move to the back to the grid. I told them that the tyre was safe. Then I got the okay to continue the race. And then afterwards I get a 3-minute penalty!"
There is precedent to be allowed to finish a race with a puncture and not have a penalty for "too low pressure". Lewis won the Silverstone GP in 2020 like this. pic.twitter.com/1vvojvjfpi- Antonio Felix da Costa (@afelixdacosta) July 29, 2023
"It's a shame that my race goes to the bin," he continues. "But the amount of things that then get compromised: We would have been super close to leading the teams' standings. Now we're super close to not even being in the top three."
"There is no consistency"
Felix da Costa is particularly upset with the stewards' handling of another situation: "Rene Rast drives around with a front wing completely under his car - it's sparking and smoking! Rast drives over every curb to get rid of the wing. No one has called him into the pits! I was right behind him, and there were carbon debris everywhere. I potentially got my puncture from that, but of course that's not a problem!"
"There is no consistency," laments the Porsche driver, who originally finished the race in an outstanding second place. "How can Stoffel (Vandoorne) be allowed to qualify with a broken front wing in Rome and today they say to Pascal, he has to change it. What's the borderline here?"
"We just want some fairness in this sport," he explained further. "If the technical delegate tells me the car is not safe - how many races have he done in Formula E in his life? Because I have done more than 100. I know what is safe and what is not safe."
"Stewards compromise years of work"
"Our stewards, our technical delegate - they're not good enough," he said in massive criticism of those in charge for the FIA. "That's the truth. They compromise hours of work by drivers and years of work by manufacturers. I'm not sitting in the simulator for five days to prepare for a raceand then get here and get penalized by a guy who has never driven a race car in his life!"
Felix da Costa also announced that Porsche would appeal against the classification of the race. The team must do so until 96 hours after the end of the race. Should this happen, a final result is not expected for several weeks.