18 Oct 18
"[I'm] surprised in a really good way," said BMW i Andretti Motorsport's Antonio Felix da Costa, referring to the pace of his new BMW iFE.18 following two successful days of pre-season testing at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia.
"I'm not surprised in the way that I thought BMW couldn't do it...but we came here not knowing if we're quick enough? Does the car have enough power? Are we efficient? ...but we've been strong," he added.
After four seasons in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, da Costa remains with the Andretti outfit for the forthcoming 2018/19 season, albeit under the new guise of BMW i Andretti Motorsport. Finishing 15th overall in the championship last season, da Costa's claimed just one win (Buenos Aires, Season 1) to date in his Formula E career.
"Sometimes you get home after three, four, five or six bad races in a row and wonder what it's all for... and this is what it's all for," said da Costa. Over the past two days, both he and teammate Alex Sims topped the timesheets of both test days, despite Sims' comparative lack of Formula E experience.
"The last two years with Andretti has been to mould the team to prepare for this year.
"I think we now have the people to execute a good car...so hopefully that will be the case.
"I'm sure it's going to be super tight with Nissan, DS, Audi - I'm sure the Venturi's and, as a consequence, the HWAs will be very quick as well.
"I don't really see anyone with a lack of pace - it's all open, to be honest. I think we'll see a very close field [this season].
"The last two years of hard times have made us really strong. I think we have a good team in place to do it well."
With one more day of testing remaining on Friday October 19, it will be up da Costa and Sims to keep the BMW at the top of the timesheets as all 11 teams prepare for the first race of the season in Saudi Arabia. Click here for tickets.