Da Costa disqualified from Misano E-Prix amid race win

Da Costa disqualified from Misano E-Prix amid race win

Porsche’s Antonio Felix da Costa has been disqualified from the inaugural Misano E-Prix resulting in the loss of his 2024 Formula E World Championship Round 6 victory.

It was announced on Saturday that Antonio Felix da Costa of TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team who won the Misano E-Prix race has been disqualified from Round 6 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship due to a technical breach following an FIA investigation.

Da Costa won the race with an effective energy-saving strategy, turning in a four-tenths advantage over Oliver Rowland amid pressure from Porsche, which has tested Nico Mueller as his possible successor in private.

However, a throttle damper spring installed on his works Porsche turned out to be not in compliance with the rules after the race.

According to the stewards’ verdict, Porsche argued that this part, which is a standard part supplied by chassis supplier Spark, has been in da Costa’s car since the first race of the Gen3 era, which was 2022–23.

The problem seems to be that, although it was allowed to run in Gen2, the eligibility was eventually eliminated under the new set of rules.

According to reports, the spring in question might have been removed at some point after initially appearing in Spark’s Gen3 catalog in preparation for the aforementioned cars’ competitive debut. This may have been Porsche’s undoing when the spring continued to remain on the car.

“The Team Manager and the representative of the manufacturer explained that since the beginning of Season 9, they have not changed the Throttle Damper Spring,” stated the FIA report.

“The Team Manager accepted that the sealed part, as shown in the attachment of the Technical Report 13 was mounted in Car 13 and was sealed in the presence of the Chief Mechanic of the team. The Team Manager stated also that on the Spark list (pedals) the sealed part is not listed.

“He explained that normally, changes of the Spark catalogue are highlighted so everybody can see the changes, but not removals.

“The FIA Technical Delegate confirmed this procedure. The representatives of Spark confirmed that this part was listed on the part list of the GEN2 cars, but not on the current GEN3 car. They also confirmed that the removal of parts from that catalogue are not highlighted nor cancelled.”

The stewards decided that da Costa’s car had to be disqualified because it is the responsibility of the competitor to make sure the car complies with the rules, even in the absence of a performance advantage.

“The competitor is responsible for the conformity of the car and even if there is no performance advantage the car has to comply with the Regulations (Article 1.3.3 of the International Sporting Code),” the statement continues.

“Due to this result the car has to be disqualified from the race and the next cars move up in the classification.”

It has been reported that Porsche is considering filing an appeal but will not be commenting on the situation just yet and is set to release a statement tomorrow morning.

Da Costa wrote on Instagram commenting on his disqualification: “Throttle damper spring was an original part from Spark that was used all of last year and been removed from the rulebook without notification to the teams… how many other cars out there are on this spring?”

British driver Oliver Rowland inherits the lead after da Costa’s disqualification marking the team’s first Formula E victory since the 2020 Berlin E-Prix. Maximillian Günther advances to the final podium slot as drivers move up the final race standings.

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