Podium for BMW i Andretti Motorsport in Sanya: Félix da Costa takes lead in the driver standings
Dubai, UAE, March 26, 2019: Sanya. António Félix da Costa (POR) celebrated his third podium of the season at the Sanya E-Prix (CHN), round six of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. After 36 laps he crossed the finish line in third place in the #28 BMW iFE.18. Thanks to the 15 points he picked up, Félix da Costa now leads the driver standings with 62 points. His team-mate Alexander Sims (GBR) was also among the frontrunners, but retired after an accident.
Starting from third (Félix da Costa) and fifth (Sims) on the grid, the race was characterised mainly by energy management. After the frontrunners were racing defensively for more than half the race, leaving the field close together, the first duels began after around 30 minutes. In a head-to-head with André Lotterer (GER), Sims slid into the barriers, damaging his #27 BMW iFE.18 too severely to continue the race. After this incident, the BMW i8 Coupé Safety Car came onto the track, before the race was red flagged shortly afterwards. Félix da Costa defended his third place throughout the race, which ended behind the BMW i8 Coupé Safety Car after another accident in the middle of the field.
With 62 points, Félix da Costa has now taken the lead in the driver standings. Sims still has 18 points to his name and is in 14th in the overall standings. In the team standings, BMW i Andretti Motorsport is in fifth with 80 points.
As a result of numerous investigations after the race, the result is provisional.
Reactions to the Sanya E-Prix:
Roger Griffiths (Team Principal BMW i Andretti Motorsport):
“Third place for António is a very good result. We had both cars in the Super Pole and overall put in a strong performance. In Sanya the power train plays a big role – and we were in a great position here with the BMW i drivetrain. Both drivers were fantastic in qualifying. However, the race ended up being a disappointment for Alexander. He had a good rhythm before he retired after being involved in a duel with another car. Despite everything going on around him, António kept a cool head. He drove very sensibly and picked up a lot of valuable points for the team. We’re pleased.”
António Félix da Costa (#28 BMW iFE.18, qualifying result: 3rd place, race result: 3rd place, FANBOOST voting: 3rd place, points: 62):
“It goes without saying I am pleased with the result, the points and the lead in the driver standings. But I’m a little frustrated too, if I’m being honest, because I wanted to do even better today. I was able to keep up with the two guys in front of me with no problems and think that I could have won. But the track here is very narrow and you have to take a lot of risks to overtake. I tried once, but then decided to take the important points for third place. I think this is the way we need to act if we want to stay at the top until the end of the season.”
Alexander Sims (#27 BMW iFE.18, qualifying result: 6th place, race result: retired, FANBOOST voting: 13th place, points: 18)
“It’s difficult to accept this disappointing end to the race. Our pace was good and qualifying went really well as well. António is a superb benchmark for me, so I was delighted to be able to keep up with his lap times. Then the race went okay. It was difficult to overtake. Then the racing started. I defended my line against Lotterer, and I feel he didn’t leave me enough space. It’s a real shame that our pace and efforts went unrewarded.”
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