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Formula E

Da Costa stripped of Misano win due to truly bizarre infraction

by Valentin Khorounzhiy, Sam Smith
2 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Porsche driver Antonio Felix da Costa has been disqualified from the first Misano E-Prix hours after having taken a crucial Formula E win at the permanent Italian circuit.

Da Costa, under pressure within Porsche (which has privately tested a potential replacement in Nico Mueller), prevailed in a race of extreme energy-saving, converting 13th place on the grid into a win by four tenths over Oliver Rowland.

But a throttle damper spring mounted on his works Porsche was "not found in conformity" with the regulations after the race.

Antonio Felix da Costa, Porsche, Misano E-Prix, Formula E

The stewards' verdict says Porsche claimed that this part - a spec part as provided by chassis supplier Spark - has been unchanged on the da Costa car since the start of the 2022-23 season, the first of the Gen3 era.

But the issue appears to be that it was legal to run in Gen2 but the eligibility was removed at some point under the new ruleset.

"The [Porsche] team manager [James Lindesay] stated that on the Spark list [of optional items] the sealed part is not listed," the stewards verdict continued.

"He explained that normally changes of the Spark catalogue are highlighted so everybody can see the changes.

"The representatives of Spark [Jeremy Boudot and Pierre Prunin] confirmed that this part was listed on the part list of the Gen2 races, but not on the current Gen3 car. They also confirmed that the removal of parts from that catalogue is not highlighted nor canceled."

The Race understands the spring in question may have been originally part of Spark's Gen3 catalogue during preparation for those cars' competitive debut, before being removed at some moment in time.

This may be what caught Porsche out in the spring remaining on the car.

The stewards ruled that da Costa's car "has to be disqualified" as it is the responsibility of the competitor to ensure the car complies with the regulations even if there is no performance advantage".

Antonio Felix da Costa, Porsche, Misano E-Prix, Formula E

The Race understands Porsche is currently considering an appeal. The team will not comment on the matter for the time being but is set to release a statement tomorrow morning.

Da Costa wrote on Instagram commenting on his disqualification: "Throttle damper spring was an original part from Spark that was used all of last year and been removed from the rulebook without notification to the teams... how many other cars out there are on this spring?".

The ruling means the works Nissan team and its driver Rowland get their first Formula E win since Rowland's maiden triumph in Berlin in 2020.

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