António Félix da Costa in the #28 BMW iFE.18 finished second in the fourth race of the ABB Formula E season in Mexico City. His BMW i Andretti Motorsport teammate Alexander Sims finished fourteenth after he was caught up in an early-race accident that was not his fault.
Félix da Costa started fifth on the grid and ran there for most of the race. In the last lap, his energy management strategy paid off as the second through fourth place winners slowed. The win went to Audi’s Lucas De Grassi. De Grassi took the win from Mahindra’s Pascal Wehrlein in a dramatic late-race battle; the two racers ran side-by-side, with Wehrlein cutting a corner to stay ahead. But Wehrlein ran out of energy just before the finish line. He finished second on the track, but he was penalized for cutting the corner, promoting Félix da Costa to second.
Sims, who had qualified seventh on the grid, was the victim of an early-race accident involving Nelson Piquet Jr, and Jean Eric Vergne. Piquet slid off course at high speed, crashing into the rear of Sims’ car and sending him into the barriers. Sims had to pit for a front bodywork change. The incident led to a 30-minute red flag period.
BMW motorsport director Jens Marquardt said, “What a race! António Félix da Costa battled superbly and kept his cool in his duel with Sébastien Buemi. Then, in the closing stage, our good energy efficiency and race strategy paid off. It was literally in the final meters that António moved up onto the podium. It’s a shame for Alexander Sims that he got caught up in an accident at the start of the race, through no fault of his own. If that hadn’t been the case, no doubt he would have finished much higher up the field. Congratulations to António and the entire team. Once again, we managed to convert the magnificent potential of the BMW iFE.18 into a top result. Long may it continue.”
After the Mexico City race, Félix da Costa is second in drivers’ points behind Mahindra’s Jerome d’Ambrosio and BMW i Andretti Motorsport is third in team standings behind Mahindra and Envision Virgin Racing, Formula E competition resumes in Hong Kong on March 10.—Brian Morgan
[Photo courtesy BMW AG.]