Astounding Cape Town FE passes give Da Costa first Porsche win - The Race
Formula E

Astounding Cape Town FE passes give Da Costa first Porsche win

Feb 25 2023
By Matt Beer

Antonio Felix da Costa took his first Formula E victory since joining Porsche with an extraordinary drive from 11th on the Cape Town grid that included two astounding high-speed overtaking moves.

The second of those sealed a victory da Costa appeared to have thrown away by not properly triggering attack mode when he tried to take his second helping of it.

He lost the lead to former DS Techeetah team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne as a result – having come back onto the racing line just ahead of the now DS Penske driver only to then be told he hadn’t hit all the attack mode timing loops and would have to try again, losing the lead when he did so.

Da Costa attacked Vergne relentlessly and made it ahead with an unbelievable move round the outside of the super-fast kink leading into Turn 8, squeezing through a narrowing gap with minor contact to reclaim first place.

“I f***ing did not see you in the mirrors, man!” said a laughing Vergne to da Costa straight after the race. “That was a good one!”

Vergne’s second position is a big title race boost as championship frontrunners Pascal Wehrlein and Jake Dennis had disastrous days.

Wehrlein ploughed into the back of Sebastien Buemi on lap one and was out with suspension damage on his Porsche.

Dennis started only 14th for Andretti after a three-place penalty for impeding Stoffel Vandoorne in qualifying, then got a drivethrough penalty for a tyre pressure infringement and finished only 13th.

That means Wehrlein and Dennis remain 18 points apart at the top of the standings, and their non-score means Vergne closes to within 30 of the top spot.

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Da Costa’s pass on Vergne was his second go at that move, having earlier taken the lead from Nick Cassidy with the same manoeuvre as he completed his charge forward from 11th.

Envision driver Cassidy, polesitter Sacha Fenestraz’s Nissan and Maximilian Guenther’s Maserati had been the main protagonists up to that point.

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Guenther left Fenestraz perplexed and enraged by taking the lead from him just as the safety car came out for Wehrlein’s crash.

Cassidy then jumped both of them by running five laps longer before taking attack mode for the first time.

Though Cassidy couldn’t hold off da Costa or Vergne, he took third while both Guenther and Fenestraz crashed out – the latter on the final lap.

Buemi recovered from last after the Wehrlein hit to take fifth behind Rene Rast’s McLaren. Rast’s team-mate Jake Hughes – a star of the early rounds – admitted he didn’t have the same confidence on the Cape Town track as he qualified only 13th then finished 10th.

Dan Ticktum ran with the leaders again and took sixth for NIO 333, followed by another muted result for reigning champion Vandoorne in seventh.

Jaguar had another awful day. Mitch Evans’s early fourth place became an 11th at the finish thanks to a penalty for exceeding the power limit and Sam Bird failed to start after his massive qualifying accident in which he collected Edoardo Mortara’s already-crashed Maserati.

Maserati managed to get Mortara’s car repaired in time for him to start from the pitlane but he parked on track on the first lap.

Mahindra withdrew its factory cars and customer Abt Cupra’s entries during qualifying due to safety concerns believed to relate to flexing suspension.

Race Results

Pos Name Team Car Laps Laps Led Total Time Fastest Lap Pitstops Pts
1 AntĂłnio FĂ©lix da Costa TAG Heuer Porsche Porsche 99X Electric 32 0 42m25.403s 1m09.81s 0 25
2 Jean-Eric Vergne DS Penske DS E-Tense FE23 32 0 +0.281s 1m09.74s 0 19
3 Nick Cassidy Envision Racing Jaguar I-TYPE 6 32 0 +1.808s 1m10.249s 0 15
4 René Rast NEOM McLaren Nissan e-4ORCE 04 32 0 +2.208s 1m09.946s 0 12
5 Sébastien Buemi Envision Racing Jaguar I-TYPE 6 32 0 +2.656s 1m10.152s 0 10
6 Daniel Ticktum NIO 333 Racing NIO 333 ER9 32 0 +3.209s 1m10.079s 0 8
7 Stoffel Vandoorne DS Penske DS E-Tense FE23 32 0 +4.21s 1m10.027s 0 6
8 Norman Nato Nissan Nissan e-4ORCE 04 32 0 +8.582s 1m10.49s 0 4
9 André Lotterer Avalanche Andretti Porsche 99X Electric 32 0 +8.755s 1m10.322s 0 2
10 Jake Hughes NEOM McLaren Nissan e-4ORCE 04 32 0 +10.475s 1m10.248s 0 1
11 Mitch Evans Jaguar TCS Racing Jaguar I-TYPE 6 32 0 +14.183s 1m09.951s 0 0
12 SĂ©rgio Sette CĂąmara NIO 333 Racing NIO 333 ER9 32 0 +14.914s 1m10.788s 0 0
13 Jake Dennis Avalanche Andretti Porsche 99X Electric 32 0 +38.846s 1m10.06s 0 0
14 Sacha Fenestraz Nissan Nissan e-4ORCE 04 32 0 +47.613s 1m10.139s 0 0
Maximilian GĂŒnther Maserati MSG Racing Maserati Tipo Folgore 20 0 DNF 1m10.247s 0 3
Edoardo Mortara Maserati MSG Racing Maserati Tipo Folgore 1 0 DNF 0s 0 0
Pascal Wehrlein TAG Heuer Porsche Porsche 99X Electric 0 0 DNF 0s 0 0

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