Formula E

Porsche appeal against Felix da Costa penalty in London rejected, case goes to FIA Court of Appeal

Tobias Wirtz

Tobias Wirtz

The Porsche Formula E team has failed at first instance with its appeal against the 3-minute time penalty against Antonio Felix da Costa at the London E-Prix. The stewards refused to review the penalty because "new and relevant elements" were missing. It is thus clear that a final decision will be made at FIA's International Court of Appeal (ICA). However, this may drag on for several more weeks, if not months.

Antonio Felix da Costa was penalised at Saturday's London E-Prix race for undercutting the minimum pressure on the right front tyre specified by Hankook. Even though the driver and team argued that this infringement of the rules had been caused by damage to the tyre and was therefore due to force majeure, the Portuguese lost his second place as a result of the time penalty and was classified last.

As the penalty not only affected the race result, but also the drivers' and teams' championship results, Porsche lodged a protest. In addition, the team from Weissach requested a review of the penalty. In the event of a reversal, Porsche would move past its own customer team, Avalanche Andretti, in the world championship and retroactively become third. Felix da Costa would even move up from 9th to fifth in the drivers' championship.

However, the German manufacturer team received a rejection from the London E-Prix race stewards: in a virtual meeting last Tuesday, Porsche - represented by Florian Modlinger and James Lindesay - had the opportunity to present its side of the story. On the FIA side, technical delegate Laurent Arnaud and Pablo Martino, Head of Sporting Matters, were present, along with Andretti team principal Roger Griffiths as a representative of a potentially affected third party.

No new findings

Porsche cited a number of safety-related aspects. Among other things, the team argued that it was itself considered the responsible party for the safety of a vehicle and that the car had been safe at all times. In the opinion of the race stewards, however, Porsche did not bring forward any new and relevant element, as the team had already been aware during the race that the tyre pressure was too low. Moreover, a defect in the corresponding sensor could not be proven.

Since, according to the regulations, the re-evaluation of an imposed penalty may only take place if there is a new and relevant element that was not known at the time of the decision, it was consequently rejected. The penalty for Felix da Costa remains in place and must therefore now be heard by the FIA Court of Appeal (ICA). A date for the hearing has not yet been announced.

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