António Félix da Costa’s podium finish in the sixth round of ABB Formula E season 5, run in Sanya, China, moved him into the drivers’ points lead in the series. Félix da Costa placed the #28 BMW iFE.18 third on the grid and managed to run in third for the entire race. The race win went to DS Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne. Oliver Rowland, the polesitter, finished second for Nissan e.dams.
Félix da Costa’s BMW i Andretti Motorsport teammate Alexander Sims started fifth in car #27, and ran there until he made contact with the wall while battling for position with DS Techeetah’s Andre Lotterer. The contact took him out of the race and brought out a red flag to remove his car. He said later, “It’s difficult to accept this disappointing end to the race. Our pace was good and qualifying went really well as well. António is a superb benchmark for me, so I was delighted to be able to keep up with his lap times. Then the race went okay. It was difficult to overtake. Then the racing started. I defended my line against Lotterer, and I feel he didn’t leave me enough space. It’s a real shame that our pace and efforts went unrewarded.”
BMW i Andretti team principal Roger Griffiths said afterward, “Third place for António is a very good result. We had both cars in the Super Pole and overall put in a strong performance. In Sanya the power train plays a big role—and we were in a great position here with the BMW i drivetrain. Both drivers were fantastic in qualifying. However, the race ended up being a disappointment for Alexander. He had a good rhythm before he retired after being involved in a duel with another car. Despite everything going on around him, António kept a cool head. He drove very sensibly and picked up a lot of valuable points for the team. We’re pleased.”
Félix da Costa carries a one-point lead over Mahindra’s Jerome D’Ambrosio into the series’ next event on the streets of Rome, Italy on April 13. BMW is fifth in team points; Envision Virgin Racing and Mahindra Racing are tied for the team points lead.—Brian Morgan
[Photo courtesy BMW AG.]