Porsche loses lead at Formula E race in Berlin: "We were too patient"
Halfway through the 2023 Formula E season. After the first eight E-Prix of the year, the German team TAG Heuer Porsche is ahead in the drivers' and teams' championship standings. But the lead over its rivals is smaller than before after the home race in Berlin. While front-runner Pascal Wehrlein is, among other things, struggling with a stable order in Sunday's race, Felix da Costa is admonishing the pace of his world championship rivals.
After a "rocket start" to the 2023 season, certainty is slowly but surely setting in at Porsche: The team from Weissach will probably not remain completely unrivaled this year. In the garages of Pascal Wehrlein and Antonio Felix da Costa, hardly anyone believed this would happen anyway. But after the Berlin weekend, the pressure from their rivals is greater than ever.
"I don't think they've caught up at all. They have always been strong," Antonio Felix da Costa tells 'e-formula.news' about Porsche's pursuers from DS, Jaguar and Envision. The latter were able to make up important points in the title race in Berlin.
"At the beginning, they made a few more mistakes than Pascal, who had a great start to the season. In the meantime, however, they have reached a good level and are also having good, clean weekends where they are scoring points. They are super strong, fast and consistent," praised Felix da Costa. "Now we have to make sure we do the same on our side. Our cars are on a par."
Overview: The Berlin points haul of Porsche & pursuers
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Felix da Costa: "Should have attacked earlier"
In Sunday's race, Felix da Costa still managed to finish in fifth place. He also benefited from a Porsche stall order, in which he was let ahead by his teammate Pascal Wehrlein. "We should have attacked earlier, but I was too patient, " Felix da Costa told 'Motorsport-Total.com'. "By the time the race finished under full power, we had already lost too much ground. That's frustrating."
World championship leader Pascal Wehrlein was far less satisfied with the decision to swap positions. On the team radio, Wehrlein initially held back when his race engineer Kyle Wilson-Clarke informed him of the planned switch on lap 27. A little later, however, Wehrlein shouted angrily, "What the hell, man?!" Wilson-Clarke asked him to stay calm. But when Maximilian Günther (Maserati MSG) also passed him a little later, it was clear: Wehrlein was no longer going to play a role in the fight for the top-5 places.
Wehrlein's championship lead shrunk to 4 points
"Nobody wants to lead anymore," said Wehrlein, explaining what was happening before the stable order. He himself was at the front of the field for seven laps Sunday. "Everyone is just rolling down the straights and hoping to drop back into the slipstream. The important moment then comes at the halfway point and toward the end of the race, when the pace gets faster. We clearly missed that point today."
In the Formula E drivers' standings, his lead is now just four points ahead of Nick Cassidy (Envision). Antonio Felix da Costa is in 6th place. In the team championship, Porsche's lead over Envision melted down to just 15 points. The next opportunity for points for the team from Weissach is less than two weeks away in Monaco: The E-Prix in the Principality is scheduled for May 6, 2023.