Although initially devastated by the collision with BMW i Andretti Motorsport teammate Alexander Sims while battling for the lead of the Marrakesh EPrix, Antonio Felix da Costa subsequently shoulder responsibility for the incident that eliminated the winner of the season’s first round and knocked his teammate out of contention.
“We got ourselves into a situation and it’s my mistake,” admitted da Costa. “He attacked me, I defended and I failed on defending. I should have just realized that my race was over — I cost him places.
After the Portuguese driver took the win in the season opener in Saudi Arabia, another win and one-two finish looked certain after the BMW cars broke away from the rest of the pack midway through the race. Although they were leading by a comfortable margin, Sims made a bid for the lead coming into the Turn 7 left-hander at the end of the main straight, whereupon the two collided:
“I was just hungry and I really, really wanted to win today. It’s been two years of really hard work and I wanted to win this race so badly — it bit me back. Hard.
“I want to lay all my cards on the table, take the blame for this and move on. We would have taken the win, for sure. For me, I wanted to win badly but now, standing here with nothing — a second place would have been amazing. Lesson learned.”
Harsher words were exchanged further back in the field as Nelson Piquet Jr., seething after a frustrating run to 14th place for his Panasonic Jaguar team, hit out against Formula 1 veteran and Formula E rookie Felipe Massa for an incident that occured in a practice session leading up to the race.
“You saw what Massa did to me at the last corner…f**king ridiculous amateur,” Piquet fumed.
Massa was unmoved by the criticism from his compatriot.
“I don’t care for what he is saying, to be honest,” said the Venturi driver, who said his sudden slowing and move to the pits that initiated the incident was the result of a technical issue.
I lost drive in the car, so that’s why I was stopping,” he explained after the race. “I don’t understand why… Well, he’s not a great example, to be honest. Things that he’s doing, things what he’s saying.
“The only thing I can say is that I didn’t do anything wrong — I just had a technical problem.”