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Griffiths: da Costa “Denied” Victory Challenge

Roger Griffiths says Antonio Felix da Costa was denied a possible win in Mexico City…

Photo: BMW Motorsport

BMW i Andretti Motorsport team principal Roger Griffiths says Sebastien Buemi’s defence of fourth position throughout the majority of Saturday’s Mexico City E-Prix denied Antonio Felix da Costa a possible challenge for the win.

Da Costa took the checkered flag in third position but was moved up to second after Pascal Wehrlein served his penalty for cutting the chicane.

Earlier in the race, the BMW driver tried in vain to snatch fourth place away from Buemi but slightly damaged his suspension in the process.

“Buemi is a strong racer and he is not going to give up that position,” Griffiths told e-racing365.

“So that denied him a good chance of being in the mix with the front two on the last lap with good energy left.”

Griffiths said that he and da Costa’s engineering team were relatively unconcerned about usable energy in the final stages.

“We were not in the situation [that many found themselves in] of being right on the limit of the energy [usage],” he said.

“We anticipated the race going that number of laps from the outset really and were then continuously reconfirming that it was going to remain the case.

“So, we managed the pace and the energy to suit that with Antonio driving a really strong and intelligent race.”

Sims Compromized by Brief Full Course Yellow

Alexander Sims was unlucky that he fell the victim of a brief Full Course Yellow period just before the red flag was flown, according to Griffiths.

Sims’ BMW iFE.18 was hit on the right rear by the out of control Nelson Piquet Jr. on the third lap of the race and immediately pitted under FCY for repairs.

However, he was forced to restart the race from the back of the field because he pitted under the FCY and not red flag conditions.

“Unfortunately for Alexander the poor guy just isn’t having any luck at the moment, but his spirits are really high,” said Griffiths.

“I think we were a little unfortunate in the way the field was reset because of the full course yellow and then let’s say a short delay in it being red flagged.

“Normally you’d go back to the order from the previous lap and so we were probably a bit unlucky there because we were shuffled to the back as opposed to seventh.

“He came in at the end and said, “it’s frustrating, but I learnt a lot in that race.”

“The crew worked hard as there was quite a lot of damage on his car including on both the front suspension and the rear crash structure.”

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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