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Da Costa: No penalty for Rowland's Formula E Tokyo defence "sucks"

Antonio Felix da Costa has called on the FIA to clarify what is acceptable racecraft after the Porsche driver felt aggrieved by Oliver Rowland’s defending in the Tokyo E-Prix.

Antonio Felix da Costa, Porsche, Porsche 99X Electric Gen3

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

The Portuguese driver was running third in the final laps of Formula E’s maiden race in Japan, having climbed from eighth on the grid and challenged long-time leader Rowland for second.

Da Costa launched to the outside line approaching Turn 15 as Rowland defended, with the former attempting to complete the pass around the outside of the left-hand bend.

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Da Costa claims he had to brake to avoid the wall on the outside and that despite there being no contact between himself and Rowland, the incident still warranted an investigation by the stewards.

“I’ve been racing for many years and I know the risk of going around the outside of someone but you can’t just put somebody on the wall, and if I don’t brake I hit the wall there,” da Costa told Autosport.

“I just need to know from the FIA if that’s okay because if that’s okay then I’ll race like that, but one day it’s okay, one day it’s not okay.

“The overlap was 100%, my front wheel was on his front wheel and he pushed me completely on the wall.

“I’m a little bit disappointed because the FIA always say that they don’t penalise on the consequence, but they do because I know if I hit the wall in that moment Oliver gets a penalty.

“And because I avoided the contact he doesn’t get a penalty, so I almost feel like I need to hit the wall for the FIA to penalise him, which really sucks.”

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The loss of momentum allowed Jake Dennis to move ahead of da Costa and claim the final spot on the podium, while Rowland eventually finished second behind Maximilian Guenther.

When asked about the incident, Rowland replied: “Outside, suicide.”

Oliver Rowland, Nissan Formula E Team, on the grid

Oliver Rowland, Nissan Formula E Team, on the grid

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Da Costa believes that had he moved ahead of Rowland there was the potential to challenge Guenther for the win, while the fourth place finish was still a positive after a difficult start to the year.

“These guys are managing their energy, I felt like I had a little advantage on energy,” he said.

“We seemed to be super-efficient as always with the Porsche powertrain, which is great.

“No one can tell [if I would have won], but I would have definitely tried because I’m not one to sit and watch but sometimes this can bite me back.

“It is disappointing, but on the other hand I think Sao Paulo and here we’ve shown good pace, building on the momentum that I wanted to do.

“Finished fourth today, should have been a podium, in Sao Paulo we finished sixth, so starting to build some momentum for the rest of the season.”

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