Da Costa blasts FIA claims after controversial Valencia FE race

Antonio Felix da Costa says Formula E will be “the joke of the week” and has blasted FIA claims he could have changed the outcome of the Valencia E-Prix.

Da Costa blasts FIA claims after controversial Valencia FE race

The controversy boils down to a 15-second window at the restart following the final of five safety car periods, when da Costa crossed the line with enough time remaining to set up a two-lap sprint finish.

FIA director of Formula E Frederic Bertrand told media this was “clearly making life difficult” for other drivers when da Costa potentially had the “option” to slow to leave only a one-lap climax.

But teams have placed the blame with a 5kWh energy reduction made during the final safety car period and then having an insufficient number of laps remaining to recover the lost energy.

The teams have not placed any fault on da Costa.

Da Costa took to social media to absolutely refute the FIA’s justification for a controversial final-lap in which three of the nine classified cars slowed to “pit-limiter” speeds to make the finish.

A further five drivers were disqualified for exceeding energy limits.

Da Costa said: “I’m sorry, but I can’t accept this [from the FIA]. 

"If I go even slower under [the safety car], how many teams would have protested me at the end? And also, if I go slower, they would have reduced more energy.

“Today it was only on the hands of the FIA to save all of us from this.”

Read Also:

Da Costa also told Motorsport.com that Formula E will be “the joke of the week” given an anticipated increased audience tuned in to see the championship debut on a permanent track at the Circiuit Ricardo Tormo.

He said: “As a motorsport fan, today was a big day for Formula E because it’s the first permanent circuit race that we do.

"I’m sure we attracted some new eyes, some not-convinced people to watch us and to give them a closer look. 

"That is not what Formula E is all about. It’s not the image we want to pass. We will be the joke of the week, I guess. It’s not a good day for us. I feel sorry for the fans.”

“As a driver, this one hurts a lot. There’s not much we could have done. Theoretically, I’m excluded, I’m out of the race because I used too much energy by 0.1.

“In the end, the team and everyone is hurt. Everyone is down. It’s painful. You cannot believe it. The engineers are down there and sad.”

Asked to recall the moments when his race engineer conveyed the news he was not going to be able to convert his long-held lead into a first victory of his title defence, da Costa told Motorsport.com: “I got a call for the energy reduction, but when they gave me the call I was like ‘are you sure?’

“It seems wrong that I’m not going to arrive. They said ‘Yeah’. That’s it.

“I’ve gone from being all good and I might win this race to I am not coming home tonight.”

shares
comments

Related video

FIA: Valencia race shows "how difficult" it is to win in FE
Previous article

FIA: Valencia race shows "how difficult" it is to win in FE

Next article

Buemi frustrated after first-lap collision with Lotterer

Buemi frustrated after first-lap collision with Lotterer
Load comments
The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two FE teams Prime

The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two FE teams

Electing not to share data with its competitive customer team would have been a straightforward means of gaining an edge on at least one of Mercedes' Formula E rivals last season. But by reciprocating the relationship forged under its initial HWA guise, when it was a customer to Venturi, both teams have reaped the rewards

Formula E
Nov 30, 2021
How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait Prime

How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait

With its ultra-successful sister team in Formula 1 and a support network providing some of the best minds and resources in the business, Mercedes Formula E team principal Ian James knew his squad had all the winning ingredients. But mixing it together was no easy feat and required key attributes to be grown from within

Formula E
Nov 29, 2021
How Formula E's polarising newcomer Ticktum can prove himself Prime

How Formula E's polarising newcomer Ticktum can prove himself

OPINION: Few figures in racing today divide opinion like Dan Ticktum. The Formula 2 race winner now has the chance to wipe his professional slate clean with his move into Formula E, but it won't be easy at the squad which has brought up the rear for the past three years. Here are the three key criteria he must meet to make a lasting impression on the series.

Formula E
Nov 27, 2021
How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E Prime

How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E

By virtue of its Formula 1 success, Mercedes was expected to rise to power in Formula E before long. That it won both the drivers' and manufacturers' championships this year, after only two seasons as a full works effort, belies a tricky path littered with potential pitfalls

Formula E
Nov 26, 2021
Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive Prime

Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive

OPINION: Circuit racing has traditionally favoured front- or rear-wheel-drive setups, eschewing the equal distribution of power. But for Formula E and other electric-powered series, our columnist believes it’s a perfect fit.

Formula E
Oct 13, 2021
How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success Prime

How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success

The Wolffs have carved their own paths in motorsport, leading their respective teams to success in Formula 1 and Formula E. But the two came together last month as their drivers finished first and second in the FE drivers' championship - a feat they are hugely proud of. In a rare joint interview, they reflect on a remarkable season

Formula E
Sep 21, 2021
The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21 Prime

The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21

OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was one without a narrative for much of the season, with no single car or driver able to break away from the pack. That makes choosing a top 10 especially difficult, particularly as the qualifying format meant some worthy performers were unable to enjoy their day in the sun.

Formula E
Sep 19, 2021
How Mercedes and de Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way Prime

How Mercedes and de Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way

When Nyck de Vries dominated the first race of what would be the most controversial and unpredictable Formula E season to date, it looked as though Mercedes was in for a cakewalk. But as the campaign wore on, the path to a title double became increasingly rocky. Neither driver or team would be assured of the crown until the closing stages of the very final race on a weekend of struggle in Berlin.

Formula E
Sep 17, 2021