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Quick da Costa Frustrated by Blocking Tactics

BMW’s Antonio Felix da Costa left frustrated after Saturday’s Monaco E-Prix…

Photo: Formula E

Antonio Felix da Costa has expressed his frustration at blocking tactics employed by Formula E drivers as a result of the qualifying format and limits of racing on tight circuits such as Monaco.

The BMW i Andretti Motorsport driver forcefully expressed his frustration that the championship standings-based qualifying group system in Formula E is creating excessive contact on some circuits.

Da Costa ran in the top ten throughout Saturday’s Monaco E-Prix after qualifying at the head of the first qualifying group and starting the race in eighth position.

He took the checkered flag in sixth position but was later disqualified for inadvertently triggering a higher power mode.

“There is so much blocking, I had a queue of ten hungry drivers behind me, I started getting hit left, right and centre,” da Costa told e-racing365.

“I eventually lost a position to [Sam] Bird, and Bird is super slow. It is just so much contact and then I try to overtake, they are bad on energy they close the door, fair enough.”

Da Costa was adamant that the consequence of more contact and accident damage in the Monaco E-Prix was again because faster cars were forced to come from further back on the starting grid.

“It is a consequence of qualifying. You don’t have the fastest drivers and cars starting at the front of the race,” he explained.

“But then if you put the fast guy starting at the back, you need the tracks to allow for a comeback then the show is complete. Then the idea of the rule is complete.

“You are only hurting the quick guys and not actually helping them back. That is why we see all this contact, the fast guys come across as slow.”

Da Costa acknowledged that the sporting make-up of Formula E in Season Five is popular with fans and TV audiences but says that his sometimes conservative strategy sees him victimized.

“Yes, it provides a good show and yes the fans love it,” he said. “It is racing, of course it is racing, but I wasn’t having fun today because I was so quick and I try something and I get hit off the line.

“It is racing but if I am not being sensible, they will put me in the wall.

“I keep saying this already, ‘He has pushed me off’, until I actually go and hit the wall for the other guy to get the penalty but I don’t do that.”

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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