Antonio Felix da Costa pulled off a spectacular late move on Jean-Eric Vergne to win in Cape Town.
Antonio Felix da Costa pulled off what could go down as some of the most memorable overtakes in Formula E history to win the inaugural Cape Town E-Prix. The Season 6 champion defeated Hyderabad E-Prix winner Jean-Eric Vergne to take his first win since joining Porsche. Joining them on the podium was Envision Racing Nick Cassidy.
- Da Costa wins, 0.281 secs ahead of Vergne
- Cassidy completes podium
- Wehrlein leads championship despite retirement
Mahindra-powered cars pull out of Cape Town E-Prix
The round was a complete write-off for Indian squad Mahindra Racing and customer team Abt Cupra. All four cars were withdrawn even before qualifying, with Mahindra citing “rear suspension safety concerns”.
There is now a four-week break until the Sao Paulo E-Prix, and Mahindra says a thorough inspection of the suspension elements will take place once the team returns to its base in the UK. The team could be handed penalties if it does opt to change its suspension design.
Da Costa seals first win with Porsche
Despite starting down in 11th place, da Costa had already climbed into the top 10 by Lap 20. With the front of the grid tightly bunched up, he made his first move for the lead on Lap 24, doing so on one of the trickiest parts of the track.
The Porsche driver moved past Cassidy around the outside of Turn 7 and made the move stick on the inside at Turn 8. However, he missed the activation loop while taking his second Attack Mode, letting Vergne through into the lead.
Da Costa pulled off a repeat of his move on Cassidy, this time squeezing past Vergne around the outside of Turn 7 on the penultimate lap. He once again made the move stick to reclaim the lead and win the race.
“It actually felt like an endurance race with so much happening. Our strategy worked perfectly and I tried to keep my cool over the whole distance but when I crossed the finish line, I got a bit tearful. I want to thank everyone in the team for their terrific support and trust,” said Da Costa.
Behind them, polesitter Sacha Fenestraz (Nissan) was still in the running for a podium finish when he hit the wall on the final lap. This promoted Cassidy to the final podium spot.
No points for Jaguar
Jaguar’s poor run of luck continued. Sam Bird had to withdraw from the race after his qualifying shunt. Mitch Evans, meanwhile, was running in fourth place when he was handed a drive-through penalty for an overpower violation. He ended up finishing the race in 11th place.
2023 Formula E championship standings
On the other side of the Porsche garage, Pascal Wehrlein’s race was over on the first lap itself after he outbraked his car and ran into the back of Sebastien Buemi. Despite the retirement, he still leads the championship with 80 points.
McLaren’s Jake Dennis is second with 62 points, while Verne is now third overall with 50 points, followed by da Costa with 46 points.
2023 Cape Town E-Prix results
|2023 Cape Town E-Prix results|
|1||Antonio Felix da Costa||Porsche|
|2||Jean-Eric Vergne||DS Penske|
|3||Nick Cassidy||Envision Racing|
|5||Sebastien Buemi||Envision Racing|
|6||Dan Ticktum||Nio 333|
|7||Stoffel Vandoorne||DS Penske|
|11||Mitch Evans||Jaguar TCS Racing|
|12||Sergio Sette Camara||Nio 333|
Vergne wins action-packed Hyderabad E-Prix; Mahindra in top 10