A very curious situation happened during the Moscow ePrix. Whilst other drivers were being penalised left and right by the stewards for racing incidents and pit stops, Jarno Trulli – to the confusion of the commentators and social media – on several occasions drove his own version of the race track – consistently cutting the Turn 7 chicane – with seemingly no consequence.
For Antonio Felix Da Costa – just one of the drivers who spent much of the race tucked up behind Trulli, pressuring him into Turn 7 – this proved especially frustrating:
“Well I think it’s pretty clear he did it twice to keep positions in front of me. He ruined my race. I was so much quicker than him and I don’t think he was hitting his targets anywhere… he was very slow. It comprised my race. We got the place eventually but it was too late. My race was ruined from qualifying to be honest.”
The Amlin Aguri driver confessed he expected more from a driver of Jarno’s experience:
“This was not a performance from someone who has been in F1 for that many years and put in many great performances. He is someone that I looked up to as a kid but he really disappointed me today. I think it (the incident) was shown on TV so I’m not really blaming him but more the FIA and the stewards because action had to be taken straight away. We were complaining on the radio and were told it was going to be investigated after the race, but after the race is no good for me because I spent three quarters of the race behind him and it ruined my race.”
Indeed the incident was investigated after the race and Trulli subsequently handed a five place grid penalty for the next race – Round 10 at Battersea Park – for failing to slow significantly after cutting the chicane. This however will mean little to Da Costa:
“It’s a shame because I wanted a good race today. It’s my last in Formula E this season.”
Just as Antonio missed the season opener in Beijing, other racing commitments mean he will miss the championship finale in London on the 27th and 28th of June. It will be interesting to see if Da Costa decides to commit to a full season in Formula E for 2015/16. He has put in a strong performance for his Amlin Aguri team, consistently finishing in the top 10, and closes out his first Formula E campaign with 51 points, including a race win at Round 4, Buenos Aires. If the team can use everything it’s learnt to bring the car further up the grid for next season, Antonio Felix Da Costa is a driver who is more than capable of finding himself in the championship hunt.