António Félix da Costa was left furious with the FIA last Saturday at the London E-Prix and slammed them as being “not good enough” for Formula E, following an unbelievable penalty.

Last weekend’s Formula E season finale at the ExCeL Centre was a chaotic affair, with the opening race of the weekend having been an incident-packed event. Two red flags were required last Saturday following a couple of big collisions, with one of the incidents having involved 14 cars.

A 14-car pile up occurred at the penultimate corner towards the end of the race, by which point Da Costa found himself in second behind Mitch Evans. The season six Champion was having an incredible race, having made up 15 places.

However, during the second red flag stoppage, TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team discovered that Da Costa had a slow puncture, caused by debris on the circuit.

Da Costa informed an FIA technical delegate that he had a slow puncture but that his car was completely safe, with the delegate having allowed him to continue the race without changing the tyre.

Despite this, it was confirmed in the closing laps that Da Costa had been slapped with a mind-boggling three-minute time penalty, for a ‘technical infringement’. This technical infringement just so happened to be his slow puncture, much to the team’s and driver’s anger.

Da Costa insisted to the media after the race that he had a puncture and was by no means “trying to be illegal to find performance”, by running a low tyre pressure.

“I have a puncture, I’m not trying to play with the tyre pressure, I have a puncture,” Da Costa told the media, including Motorsport Week.

“I am actually nursing the car home. I’m not trying to be illegal to find performance, I actually lose performance. I have no air in my tyre.”

Unsurprisingly, the staggering time penalty demoted Da Costa to last, removing him from the podium, which would’ve been huge for Porsche. Porsche entered the weekend 14 points off the top of the Constructors’ Championship and were set to reduce their deficit considerably, ahead of the penalty being awarded.

Something which was very noticeable when the race finally restarted last Saturday following the second red flag, was that a number of cars rejoined the circuit without a front wing. Da Costa’s team-mate Pascal Wehrlein would’ve been one of them, but he was given a “direct command” by the FIA to be fitted with a new one.

Due to having changed front wings, Wehrlein was forced to restart the race from last, demoting him out of the points. Da Costa criticised the FIA for this and questioned where their “consistency” was, with the driver pleading for “common sense” to prevail.

“And they tell Pascal to go in the garage and change his front wing, like they mandated him to do it. That was a direct command,” revealed Da Costa.

“So why are some cars allowed to go out with broken cars and some others are not? So where is the consistency here? And they throw a race away like this. I just want consistency and common sense. You know what I mean?”

Da Costa confirmed on Saturday that Porsche were going to appeal, with the huge penalty having “completely compromised” the Stuttgart-based outfit’s title hopes. It took the FIA 15 hours to officially confirm Saturday’s classification, with Da Costa’s podium having not been reinstated. Porsche ended up finishing third in the standings following Sunday’s race.

“Yeah, we are appealing it,” Da Costa informed the media.

“We are appealing it because, yes, today, I don’t even really care about my podium. But we are playing. There’s a lot to play. We’re at the end of a championship here. It’s an important title for us, the teams’ title.

“And if we keep this result, we go into tomorrow, I don’t know, four, three, five points, I don’t know, away from the lead, everything to play for. And now it’s completely compromised for us.

“And I’m not going to the simulator for every race for three or four days, spending hundreds of days away from my family and all the hard work these engineers and mechanics have to come here and have races taken away from us like this. I’ve done more than 100 races in Formula E. I know when a car is safe to drive.

“I told him [FIA delegate] the car is safe. He let me go out. And now I get this penalty. Like, not even a chance to discuss it together. They just apply it to us. Yes, if you go by the rule, we are under and other cars have been disqualified in the past for being under.

“But we are not under by a bit because we’re playing with the gray areas with the legality limits. I have a puncture in my car because other drivers are driving around with broken front wings, and I actually been hit on my front right tyre. It’s just super disappointing.”

Da Costa went as far as stating on Saturday that the stewards and technical delegates are “not good enough” to regulate Formula E, with the 31-year-old believing that they lack the “technical expertise”.

“I don’t believe they have the technical expertise enough to regulate a World Championship like us with all these manufacturers and drivers here, they are not good enough,” Da Costa insisted.

The Porsche driver will likely hear from the FIA following his comments about the handling of the situation, as he shared his frustration in a series of tweets as well.

Da Costa used Lewis Hamilton’s victory at the 2020 British Grand Prix as an example of inconsistency amongst the FIA, as the Mercedes driver won the race despite having a completely delaminated tyre. Hamilton wasn’t penalised.

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