Just Electric

Da Costa discusses Tempelhof track and WEC venture

After an eventful Paris ePrix which cost Antonio Felix da Costa a retirement, the Portuguese driver is hoping he can be back in the points in Berlin, where the track conditions differ from ordinary race tracks.

For the MS&AD Andretti team, it is a big weekend as it is the home round for their technical partner, BMW, who are also sponsoring the event. It is also the first time that Formula E has reused the same circuit configuration, albeit with a slight change to Turn 6 to add 96 metres too the lap. 

Antonio Felix da Costa, however, doesn’t think it makes much difference to any pre-race preparations. “We get to so many new tracks every year and we’ve been repeating a few tracks and it only helps on the race prep to be honest.

“All the simulator stuff, we know the track and everyone, we have some figures from the year before, we can look into and we know what we did wrong and what we have to improve so it does help a little bit there but in the end, it’s alright.”

Another thing about the circuit at Tempelhof is the fact that it is held on the concrete apron with the terminal as the backdrop. 

When asked about what effects the grip level of the surface has on the set-up of the car, da Costa replied “I think the grip level is not a problem. It’s generally quite high grip to be honest. 

“The problem is the tyre wear and the tyres heat up a lot. So this, we do have a few things to keep it under control, try and help it. Also the drivers, the way we use the tyres, we can help it out a little bit so it’s the same for everyone.”

The BMW factory driver also admitted that the skills he has learnt in Formula E have helped him in the World Endurance Championship, saying: “When they [the engineers] ask us to save fuel, we’re quite good at that you know, so all the lift and coast and all the energy management we have to do in Formula E, if it ever comes to being in a critical situation with the M8. That’s something I can easily do now and not lose any lap time or very little lap time.”

However the Portuguese driver admitted that the skill transfer doesn’t work the other way, adding “And vice verse? Not really. Formula E is so particular, tracks, car, tyres that you really have to focus on your Formula E little details and inputs and keep them where they are

Rob Lomas

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