15 Nov 20
06 Aug 20
DS Techeetah’s Antonio Felix da Costa did what no driver has done before in Formula E yesterday: securing a maximum 30-point haul – the full house of qualifying group benchmark, Julius Baer Pole Position, lights-to-flag victory and fastest lap – to leave him 41 points clear of his nearest rival.
The standings leader crossed the line with 0.0 percent of his available energy remaining, with a number of other drivers cutting things just as fine - with the winning margins tightening yet further in Formula E.
A dab of regen on the home straight meant he could coast across the line for the win - with Andre Lotterer some 5.5 seconds in his wake in second spot.
The benchmark has been set at arguably its highest-ever level with da Costa's commanding race day performance for Round 6. The victory spoke for itself, but recovering from two spells under the safety car and restoring his lead on both occasions made it even more impressive.
"The fight for the title is underway and the pressure is on. I want to win and if we keep doing things the way we did today, we have a good chance," Da Costa said.
"I take my hat off to the team not only for what they did today, but because of the work they did in preparing for this moment. I came to DS Techeetah because I wanted a faster car, as I want to put myself in a position to win races.
"We're going to have bad days like everyone else, but it's the way we recover those that will be key," he added.
Da Costa's advantage looks more than useful with five rounds of the 2019/20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship to run. He stands on a total of 97 points, 41 ahead of his closest competitor Mitch Evans (Panasonic Jaguar Racing).
In Formula E though, everything can change at the drop of a hat - such is the knife-edge nature of the high-level competition.
Given the circumstances of this nine-day six-race Berlin finale, too, the rest of the field will be well aware of how fragile an advantage can become in a short space of time.
Andre Lotterer was left lamenting a mistake he made when he missed the activation zone for ATTACK MODE. This left him off line, losing time and without the 35 kW power-boost that those around him were helping themselves to.
Without this, he feels he'd have been challenging da Costa for the race win.
"Second is a good starting point but I have mixed feelings having made that mistake. It put me in a difficult position. We had a good car and without that slip, maybe we could have challenged Antonio.
"We'll keep working hard and hopefully the car will be as good in Round 7," said the TAG Heuer Porsche driver.
Envision Virgin Racing's Sam Bird carved his way through the pack from seventh on the grid up on to the podium for the first time since his victory in the season-opener in Diriyah.
"I'm happy for the team," he said. "It's been a rocky year for us so far - let's hope it marks a reboot of the season.
"I was a bit disappointed not to have taken second but I lacked energy in the last couple of laps. There's still work to be done but we've got a good base now."
15 Nov 20
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