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Formula E London ePrix I

Da Costa slams Formula E officials after London podium loss

Antonio Felix da Costa has slammed Formula E officials after he was stripped of his London E-Prix podium due to a technical infringement which he claims was a slow puncture.

Antonio Felix da Costa, Porsche, Porsche 99X Electric Gen3

The Porsche driver climbed up the order during a chaotic opening race at the ExCeL London this weekend, which featured two red flags as Jake Dennis claimed the Formula E title.

After starting 17th, da Costa finished second on-the-road, but was informed just moments from the end of the race that he had been handed a three-minute penalty for a technical infringement as the “minimum tyre pressure was under the minimum value given by the tyre supplier”.

After the race, da Costa said this had been caused by a slow puncture rather than trying to gain any competitive advantage, and that an FIA delegate had allowed him to resume at the first restart aware of the issue.

“I’m all for keeping the rules and making the rules strict for people to follow them but my front-right tyre today is under pressure because I have a slow puncture,” said da Costa.

“I don’t have much air in my tyre, I’m nursing the car home. You have Rene Rast driving around with a broken front wing for four laps, hitting every kerb, putting debris all over the track with pieces of carbon.

“I’ve been driven into a couple of times, people hit my wheels. The puncture is coming from that type of stuff and they [give me the penalty] because they’re saying I’m under pressure.

“We need some common sense in this sport. I do a race like this and I get a penalty for being under pressure and people think we’re cheating now. I don’t cheat, we don’t cheat. We did an amazing race and they’re taking the result away from us.

“I spoke with the FIA technical delegate face-to-face when I was in the car [during a red flag], I said the car is safe, let me race. He said, yes you can race. And now we want to have a discussion with them saying, look we’re not playing with tyre pressures.

“There is no performance here, there is half the air on the right front than I have on my other three tyres.”

Antonio Felix da Costa, Porsche, Porsche 99X Electric Gen3

Antonio Felix da Costa, Porsche, Porsche 99X Electric Gen3

Photo by: Nick Dungan / Motorsport Images

The three-minute penalty dropped da Costa out of the points and stripped him of 18 points which are vital for Porsche in the manufacturer’s push for the teams’ title.

With the points not applied, the team currently sits third in the standings, 27 points behind both Jaguar and Envision Racing which are tied at the top of the table.

Porsche is yet to decide if it will appeal the decision ahead of the season-finale on Sunday.

“Today I don’t even really care about my podium but there’s a lot to play [for].

“We are at the end of the championship here, it’s an important title for us the teams’ title and if we keep this result we go into tomorrow everything to play for.

He added: “I don’t believe they [Formula E] have the technical expertise enough to regulate a world championship like us with all these manufacturers and drivers, they are not good enough.”

UPDATE: Porsche has issued an intent to appeal and has 96 hours in which to launch an official appeal against the decision.

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