António Félix da Costa in the #28 BMW iFE.18 finished sixth on the track in the May 11 ABB Formula E race in Monaco, but he was excluded from the points because of a post-race penalty. His teammate Alexander Sims ran in the points until Virgin Racing’s Robin Frijns hit him late in the race. Sims was able to continue, but he fell back to fifteenth at the finish.
Félix da Costa ran eighth much of the way, but moved up to sixth at the end, once again doing a good job of energy management. Félix da Costa and Jaguar’s Mitch Evans made contact during the race; as he grabbed the steering wheel just after the hit Félix da Costa inadvertently switched to a higher power mode. As a result he drove for a time with more energy than the rules allow; he was still classified sixth, but was awarded no points.
Commenting on the penalty, BMW i Andretti Motorsport team principal Roger Griffiths said, “This was caused by contact during the race between António and Mitch Evans. He then grabbed the steering wheel and accidentally switched to the higher power mode. He was unaware that he had done so and, as a team, we don’t receive the telemetry, so it took a little while for us to realize what had happened. That meant that he drove using too much energy for a period of time and he has been punished for this rule infringement. This was an accidental infringement but the penalty was the logical decision. As a team, we’re very disappointed with this outcome but we respect the decision made by race control.”
DS Techeetah’s Jean Eric Vergne, who had won at Sanya in March, became the first two-time winner of the season with a victory in Monaco. He led flag to flag on the tight street circuit, which used a portion of the Monaco Formula One track. Vergne leads Formula E drivers’ points after Monaco; Félix da Costa is fourth.
The series runs next in Berlin on May 25, then runs in Bern on June 22, and ends its season with a pair of races on the streets of Brooklyn, New York on July 13-14.—Brian Morgan
[Photo courtesy BMW AG.]