Formula E | Cape Town E-Prix | What the drivers said after Cape Town E-Prix

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After such a remarkable race, what did the drivers have to say? Let’s have a look.

Credit: Formula E Media Bank / Andrew Ferraro

Cape Town E-Prix provided a phenomenal spectacle for all. From the start of the weekend till the very end, the first track in sub-Saharan Africa proved challenging for the drivers. What did some of them say after the race? We picked our main protagonist of this weekend and decided to take a closer look on how they reflected on their time at the bumpy streets of Cape Town.

Antonio Felix Da Costa, TAG Heuer Porsche:

“I still can’t believe it. What a race! Clinching my first win for Porsche here in Cape Town after starting from P11 is simply fantastic. It actually felt like an endurance race with so much happening. Our strategy worked perfectly and I tried to keep my cool over the whole distance but when I crossed the finish line, I got a bit tearful. I want to thank everyone in the team for their terrific support and trust. It spurred me on and made this achievement possible.”

Absolutely outrageous performance from Da Costa this weekend. A man on the mission, charging through the field from P11 to finish the race as a winner, his first win for Tag Heuer Porsche FE Team couldn’t be more special. His overtake on Vergne will surely make it to Top 5 overtakes by the end of this season, fully sending it around the outside of Turn 7. After missing the activation of the Attack Mode, which meant his win was possibly out of the window, he managed to pull it together and sent it again, forcing the French driver to accept his fate and stick to P2. We’re hoping it’s not the last time we see him do something like this this season. Simply phenomenal racing from the Porsche driver.

Credit: Formula E Media Bank / Simon Galloway

Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Penske:

“It was going very well. I did come back through the field, but actually I think Antonio’s missing the attack mode is what made him win the race. Because then he pulled behind me and we had a huge amount of energy saving to do after the second safety car. And the slipstream is massive in that car. This is the moment where he could get more energy and put that attack on me. I think that if he didn’t miss the attack mode, I would’ve stayed behind him, saved energy, and then maybe be in a position to make that move. I’m just a bit frustrated cause I genuinely didn’t see him coming

“It’s been like four or five races we complain about the mirrors; nothing has changed, nothing has been done. We simply cannot see anything in them. So I really hope they can come up with new mirrors very soon. In free practice, you impede a lot of drivers because you don’t see them. I’m not going to use that as an excuse. He did a brilliant move, so let’s be clear it’s not an excuse. I’m a bit frustrated, but at the same time, I’m happy to be frustrated with second. We are coming back strongly in the championship that’s the only thing that matters.”

Starting from P5, Vergne managed to squeeze all of the performance he could from his DS Penske car and stick it into P2. From the start of the race he stayed closed to the front of the pack, keeping close distance to Fenestraz, Cassidy and Günther. Vergne capitalized on the mistakes of others and didn’t loose focus till the checkered flag – but was caught in having to save energy after the second safety car. After all, he was also awarded the title of the fastest lap this race, which will hopefully make it up for him after loosing on P1. And he did not miss a chance to complain about his mirrors, hence why we need to give bonus points to JEV for this one:

Credit: Formula E Media Bank / Sam Bagnall

Nick Cassidy, Envision Racing:

“I think we have to be happy with the result today. Whenever you finish third in Formula E you have to be happy and I have to walk away with a smile. Part of me thinks we should have won that race, and the full-course yellow really hurt us and it changed the energy of the race, but that’s motorsport.”

Consistency is key for Cass – started from P3, finished on P3. The Kiwi had a real chance to claim the win this race, but had to settle for the lowest step on the podium, helping his team jump to second in the constructors championship. He managed to lead the race for a while, but eventually had to give in to the likes of Da Costa and Vergne. Tough luck with the second safety car meant that he could not use the attack mode he has taken just seconds before full course yellow, making the extra power boost pretty much useless. Towards the end he dropped to P4, but after Fenestraz put it in the wall in the final laps he accepted the silverware presented to him in the podium ceremony. Although Sacha would like to disagree on that one…

Credit: Formula E Media Bank / Simon Galloway

Sacha Fenestraz, Nissan Formula E Team:

“We were racing for the third place of the race and it seemed like he was racing for the championship. It’s a bit of a shame – I mean, some people thought I ended up in the wall by myself, but wasn’t like that. He didn’t even lunge really at Turn 7, he had a slight bit of the front wing behind my rear wheel, but he was nowhere near side-by-side. He just touched me and then I lost the rear straight away and I just hit the Tecpro barrier. So it wasn’t a big contact, but big enough to break my rear wishbone. It’s a shame because you know, we were on for a good position. A move like that from Cass… yeah, it’s a shame.”

It could’ve been a fantastic weekend for the rookie. It could’ve, because despite starting from P1, Fenestraz eventually DNF’ed in the final stages of the race. The Frenchman was definitely onto something, claiming pole position in only his 6th race in Formula E, but hitting the barrier eventually ruled him out of any possible points in Cape Town. Although at first everyone thought the contact with the Tecpro was all his fault, Fenestraz would like to disagree, claiming that initial contact with Cassidy was what made him tap the wall. We guess it’s onto the next one for Sacha and the Nissan team, despite his teammate Norman Nato finishing in points in P8.

Credit: Formula E Media Bank / Simon Galloway

Maximilian Gunther, Maserati MSG Racing:

“Our pace was very good across the whole weekend and it was great to put the car on the front row. The race wasn’t easy, but we managed well to run in the top 3. I was pushing to close the gap, but tapped the wall which broke my rear suspension. There are positives that we can take, but obviously, this is a bitter pill to swallow.”

Tough times for Maserati, its drivers, and James Rossiter. The Monaco-based team seen both of its drivers retire from the race, despite Günther starting from P2 and having a decent race until the closing laps. Contact with the wall meant a DNF for the German driver, while his teammate retired earlier in the race. Cape Town is definitely a weekend Maserati MSG Racing won’t like to remember, but we hope they will take the initial beating and turn up stronger in Brazil.

Credit: Formula E Media Bank / Sam Bagnall

The race might have finished, but we still feel goosebumps when thinking about it. We’re already excited for what next year’s Cape Town E-Prix will have to offer. But let’s not get distracted – we’ll see you very soon for the 2023 São Paulo E-Prix, another new addition to the race calendar. After South Africa set the bar high, we’re having high expectations for the next newbie. Until then: enjoy the race wherever you are ✨