Da Costa drives to victory in Ad Diriyah

Da Costa drives to victory in Ad Diriyah

Antonio Felix da Costa
photo: Formula E

Antonio Felix da Costa narrowly clung on to victory in Ad Diriyah. He fended off a fast-charging Jean-Eric Vergne in the closing laps to deliver a maiden win in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship for BMW i Andretti Motorsport.

The Portuguese driver led away from pole position. But first, he had to reverse into his grid slot after overshooting his mark. Da Costa looked comfortable out front in the opening phase of the race.

However, the ominous speed of DS TECHEETAH and Vergne meant Da Costa briefly dropped to second

Then the reigning champion fell down the field as he served a drive-through penalty for a technical infringement relating to power regeneration.

Vergne exited the pits in fifth and fought his way through the pack. Soon he was back onto the tail of the race leader. With a late safety car to recover Jose Maria Lopez’s GEOX DRAGON machine – which suffered suspension damage – the cars closed up and gave Vergne a chance to make a lunge for victory. Even though the gap reduced to under half a second, the countdown clock ran out with Vergne having to settle for second place.

Joining Da Costa and Vergne on the podium was Jerome D’Ambrosio in his first race for MAHINDRA RACING

Starting the race in sixth, D’Ambrosio held position over his nearest rivals, including Andre Lotterer who missed out on a podium place – suffering the same fate as his team-mate with a penalty.

With an exciting new era of electric racing underway, Formula E returns to Marrakesh on January 12 – for round two of the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship.