Felix da Costa gives away possible Formula E victory in Sao Paulo, Wehrlein struggles after contact with Dennis
Porsche is leaving Brazil with mixed feelings despite decent results. It is true that the Formula E top team of the season so far collected numerous points - thanks in part to a strong recovery by Pascal Wehrlein. Nevertheless, even more was in it for the Swabians, because Antonio Felix da Costa threw away a better result due to a driving error..
From 2nd on the grid, Felix da Costa was always involved in the leadership battle. In the meantime, he led the race every now and then, but also dropped back occasionally. "I actually had a perfect strategy - I always wanted to be second. So in a safe position where I can still save energy," the Portuguese explained to ProSieben shortly after the race. By that, he meant the slipstream effect when driving behind, which was particularly great in Sao Paulo.
On lap 25, however, he made a momentous mistake: At the end of the long start and finish straight, he braked and missed turn 1. Instead, he drove past the TecPro barrier on the left and thus cut short.
"I locked the wheels and had to cut the chicane. And the rule is yes: if you cut short, you have to stop completely once. As a result, I dropped from second to seventh place. Of course, that ruined a lot," Felix da Costa looks back on the situation contritely.
"Definitely cost us a podium, maybe even the win"
"I made a mistake and I'm a bit annoyed about it. He has definitely cost us a podium and maybe even the win," admits the Porsche driver and then apologizes to his team.
Even though more might have been possible, "In the end, I'm happy to be annoyed about 4th place - looking back at the past few months. We are constantly developing and getting better," he thinks. In fact, Felix da Costa has already moved up to 5th place in the World Championship. He is just four points behind second-placed Jake Dennis.
Wehrlein: "Without the incident, it would have gone even further forward".
Only teammate Pascal Wehrlein is somewhat ahead in the overall standings. The German drove to the finish line in seventh place and thus even extended his world championship lead, as main rival Dennis came away empty-handed. What was impressive was the way Wehrlein drove into the points: the 28-year-old had only started from 18th place after a weak qualifying session and showed a strong recovery, gaining eleven positions in the end.
"It was a good race. You have to be happy with 7th place from 18th," Wehrlein also told ProSieben. "Those are important points - definitely damage limitation. But there was more in it this weekend in general. Qualifying was not good. We changed the car significantly towards the race, which then suited me better."
Even more might have been in it for Wehrlein, too, had it not been for the accident between Dan Ticktum and Jake Dennis, as a result of which the latter slid into the side of Wehrlein's Porsche. "What hurt was the (damage to the) underbody on the side when Dennis crashed into me," Wehrlein said.
"From that moment on, I couldn't push as hard and lost a bit of pace. In the race, it would have been even further ahead without the incident," the Sindelfingen native is certain. Next up for Wehrlein and Porsche is their own home race: Formula E's "double-header" in Berlin on April 22 and 23.