Closed Circuit: Andretti Formula E in Monaco
Still waiting: ever since the first race of the season in Hong Kong, the Andretti Formula E squad is waiting for some more championship points and even after a rather disappointing qualifying they still had hopes. Everything looked promising for the American squad, yet the end of the race and a post-race penalty left the team empty handed once again.
It has been a difficult and unfortunate weekend for the Andretti Formula E squad in Monaco. The street canyons of the Monégasque principality proved to be tough on both Antonio Felix da Costa and Robin Frijns who struggled to find their rhythm in the practice sessions as well as qualifying.
It looked like the performance did improve just in time for the race, as both drivers were able to recover well during the ePrix. With high hopes the team followed the action on track and were already counting the points in their heads – their first points ever since the inaugural round of the season – but it should remain wishful thinking. First Frijns dropped down to P12 following technical difficulties and da Costa was penalised after the race for an unsafe release, forcing him to drop from P9 to P11.
Team mate comparison: qualifying
- Antonio Felix da Costa
- Robin Frijns
Team mate comparison: race
- Antonio Felix da Costa
- Robin Frijns
“Monaco was unfortunately another race where the team showed good potential but ultimately didn’t get the result it was looking for. Robin ran a good race up to P8 but unfortunately he was consuming just a bit too much energy and with about 500 meters to go he ran out of energy and ended up coasting across the line, dropping from P8 to P12. He had been aggressively defending against Gutierrez but it was not to be. Antonio finished on track P9 which was a good recovery from where he started in 17th place and was a good strategy by the team.”
“Unfortunately, post-race the FIA deemed that he was called for an un-safe release and this has a standard penalty of a drive-through which when applied after the race is equivalent to 33 seconds. So what was a 9th place dropped back to P11 and out of the points. We are disappointed to be finishing outside the points but encouraged by the fact that for the vast majority of the race we were running inside the top 10.”
Roger Griffiths, Co-Team Principal
All in all, Antonio Felix da Costa was not happy with performance in neither the Free Practice sessions nor qualifying. He started into the all-deciding race with high hopes, yet the difficult track made in hard for the Portuegese to work his way through the field.
Nevertheless, da Costa managed to catapult himself into the top-10 and crossed the finish line in a strong P9. Unfortunately, he received a 33-second penalty after the race following an unsafe release.
Best time in FP1: 54.899s (P18)
Best time in FP2: 53.397s (P12)
Best time in qualifying: 54.631s (P16)
Best time in the race: 55.485s (Lap 9)
Pit stop time and difference to minimum pit stop time: 53.873s (+0.873s)
“I was not happy with qualifying and that set us back for the race. In qualifying we were in Group 1 which was nice but we were also a little bit cautious and went on track very early. All that combined was the beginning of a bad qualifying and we had to start towards the back. We he good speed and a good race, managed our energy well and ended up finishing P9. [before the penalty] Obviously being here where it’s so hard to overtake, I think that’s a positive to take home. It’s not where I want to be, finishing P11. I want to be higher up. As a team we know that so we will work harder to keep improving.”
His performance in FP1 and FP2 already left the impression it would be a difficult weekend for Robin Frijns and Andretti Formula E. Qualifying P13 and moving up to P12 on the starting grid due to a penalty for Faraday Future Dragon Racing’s Loic Duval was damage-control.
During the race, Frijns was able to profit from the turmoil ahead of him during the first lap and showed a strong performance in his first car. After swapping, his life on track become more difficult, though. He could not keep up anymore and unfortunately fell back to P12 again on the last lap.
Best time in FP1: 53.985s (P4)
Best time in FP2: 53.581s (P14)
Best time in qualifying: 54.034s (P12)
Best time in the race: 55.479s (Lap 17)
Pit stop time and difference to minimum pit stop time: 54.478s (+1.478s)
“The race was difficult. Everything looked okay in the first car and I think I had more energy left mid-way through the race than the cars around me. I think the other cars were planning to stop one lap earlier than we were but than the safety car came out and everyone came to their box at the same time. After that it was about everyone surviving. I had Gutierrez behind me and I couldn’t follow the car in front of me while trying to hit my numbers which was difficult. Then in the last few laps the regen went away and I couldn’t recover. It was a bit of a surprise but that’s how it goes.”
Image courtesy of Rajan Jangda