until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula E

'What a mess!' - Da Costa wins mad Misano Formula E race

by Matt Beer
4 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Antonio Felix da Costa shrugged off the doubts over his Porsche future and emerged on top of Formula E's most extreme 'peloton' race yet in its Misano opener.

Amid what's understood to be a deteriorating relationship with the team and following Porsche giving Abt Cupra driver Nico Mueller an 'assessment' test mid-season, da Costa looks highly unlikely to continue with Porsche beyond 2024.

But he at least has a second win with the team under his belt, and it was achieved in brilliant if slightly ridiculous style, from 13th on the grid.

As expected, Formula E's latest race on a wide and flowing permanent track was 90% stealthy energy saving in a huge tentative pack then a final flat-out breakaway battle for victory featuring those who'd survived the three-, four- and five-abreast madness of those early laps and managed their energy best in the middle of it.

There were countless incidents in the energy-saving phase, particularly as drivers had to go from side by side to funnelling into the Turn 8/9 chicane - narrowed by temporary barriers - and the pre-race championship leaders were among those who fared worst.

Da Costa's Porsche team-mate Pascal Wehrlein - who'd led the points this morning - pitted for a new front wing after running into the back of Jean-Eric Vergne, who'd already picked up a five-second penalty for a chicane incident that sent Wehrlein's closest pre-race championship rival Nick Cassidy into the pits for a new front wing of his own.

McLaren's Sam Bird looked like the biggest championship beneficiary at one point until he picked up a puncture and dropped out of the lead fight.

Vergne continued with broken bodywork dangling from both ends of his car, and few of the frontrunners' machines were entirely intact come the finish, such was the level of mid-pack contact.

When the pace finally picked up with four laps to go (with laptimes up to seven seconds quicker than in the early stages) it was Nissan's Oliver Rowland making the running and trying to escape.

But da Costa was able to go with him, and dived ahead with two laps to go.

He stayed in front to take a memorable victory, laughing "what a mess!" as he got back to the pits afterwards as he reflected on his route through the pack.

Though he and Nissan's win drought continues, Rowland's fourth consecutive podium makes him the championship leader.

Reigning champion Jake Dennis is up to second in the standings, five points behind Rowland, thanks to a dogged drive on a not especially competitive day for Andretti.

Despite losing laptimes to a tyre pressure infringement in qualifying and starting only 18th, damaging his car in a formation lap crash, and visiting the chicane gravel mid-race, Dennis made it through to fourth on the road and then an official podium when Vergne's penalty was applied.

Tokyo winner Maximilian Guenther was fourth for Maserati MSG.

Usual backmarker ERT finished a superb fifth and seventh on the road with Dan Ticktum and Sergio Sette Camara, sandwiching polesitter Mitch Evans's Jaguar. The ERT pair ran right at the back of the pack for most of the race and saved huge energy before moving forward, though it later lost Sette Camara's points to a 50s penalty for overpowering.

Vergne's battered car ended up classified seventh.

Race Results

PosNameCarLapsLaps LedTotal TimeFastest LapPitstopsPts
1António Félix da CostaPorsche 99X Electric Gen328840m04.766s1m19.766s025
2Oliver RowlandNissan e-4ORCE 04284+0.410s1m19.730s019
3Jake DennisPorsche 99X Electric Gen3280+3.413s1m19.883s015
4Maximilian GüntherMaserati Tipo Folgore280+4.198s1m20.750s012
5Daniel TicktumERT X24280+4.964s1m20.680s010
6Mitch EvansJaguar I-Type 6281+6.083s1m20.364s011
7Sérgio Sette CâmaraERT X24280+7.936s1m20.838s06
8Jean-Eric VergneDS E-TENSE FE23287+7.969s1m20.719s04
9Norman NatoPorsche 99X Electric Gen3280+7.998s1m20.101s02
10Stoffel VandoorneDS E-TENSE FE23282+8.049s1m20.928s01
11Sacha FenestrazNissan e-4ORCE 04280+8.178s1m20.736s00
12Lucas Di GrassiMahindra M9Electro280+8.377s1m20.568s00
13Nico MüllerMahindra M9Electro280+8.721s1m20.559s00
14Nyck de VriesMahindra M9Electro280+13.461s1m21.374s00
15Sébastien BuemiJaguar I-Type 6283+13.857s1m21.728s00
16Jake HughesNissan e-4ORCE 04280+14.115s1m22.156s00
17Pascal WehrleinPorsche 99X Electric Gen3281+5.378s1m19.920s00
18Robin FrijnsJaguar I-Type 6280+18.770s1m23.463s00
Jehan DaruvalaMaserati Tipo Folgore270DNF1m21.322s00
Sam BirdNissan e-4ORCE 04252DNF1m21.673s00
Nick CassidyJaguar I-Type 6230DNF1m21.097s00
Edoardo MortaraMahindra M9Electro00DNF0s00
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