Da Costa reveals ‘black-out’ reason for late-race Berlin exit
Formula E champion Antonio Felix da Costa has explained the cause of his penultimate-lap retirement from the fifth race in Berlin, which meant he nearly crashed into Sebastien Buemi.
The duo were making progress from the back of the grid, after a qualifying session in which both drivers failed to set a time after tripping over one another on track and failing to cross the line in time.
They rose to the fringe of the top 10 by lap 35 of 36, with Buemi getting ahead through taking his second 35kW attack mode boost later and passing the DS Techeetah driver into Turn 1. But da Costa then retired from the race, in an incident missed by the TV feed, which he explained as a “full system shutdown”.
“It was a really fun race, to be honest,” said da Costa. “Everyone's got the hang of the place now so the pace is so similar between everyone and it's hard to make these crazy comebacks. But we overtook one by one and we were just knocking on the top 10 there.
“On the [penultimate] lap, I just had a full system shut down. The whole thing just completely blacked out.”
He said he was fortunate not to wipe out Buemi when his brakes failed.
“I lost the rear brakes so I was actually pretty lucky. I missed the corner completely because I couldn't stop the car and I missed Buemi by nothing.”
Buemi hung on to score a point in a race won by his Nissan e.dams team-mate Oliver Rowland. The 2015-16 champion cited it as his “best race of the year”, even though he achieved second place behind da Costa in the third E-Prix at the Tempelhof Airport venue earlier this week.
“I had the pace and I feel like we beat Antonio, the DS Techeetahs, fair and square today,” said Buemi. “So that shows that we've made a massive improvement throughout the week in Berlin. I really felt very competitive.”
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