Antonio Felix da Costa has praised Jean-Eric Vergne after the implementation of team orders by DS Techeetah at the Mexico City E-Prix.
Da Costa joined the Franco-Chinese squad for the start of Season 6 partnering Vergne and in January’s Santiago E-Prix, clashed with both parties in an argument on the team radio.
Losing time when Vergne attempted to remove a damaged wheel fairing by tapping the walls of the Santiago circuit, da Costa branded the Frenchman as a “f**king idiot”, later telling his team that the same could not be said from their side when congratulated on a fantastic performance.
At the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, both Vergne and da Costa were again in direct competition during Saturday’s Mexico City E-Prix, utilising a similar strategy at the start of the 45-minute + 1 lap affair.
As instructed during an ongoing debate on team radio, Vergne and da Costa exchanged positions a number of times when closing in on the battle for the podium.
Pulling away, da Costa ultimately finished ahead, taking second place while Vergne took fourth at the chequered flag.
Speaking after the race, da Costa highlighted qualifying as an area in which he must improve and pinned Vergne’s surrender of position as a key moment that allowed him to hunt down and overtake Sebastien Buemi:
“Going into the race we knew we had a great car,” said the Portuguese driver. “[The race] was more about energy management than temperatures and we handled it better than others.
“The car is extremely fast, but I need to work on my qualifying. Being able to get familiar with the car over one lap would make my life much easier during the race.
“Both me and JEV planned the race really well and we both came through the field. We played a bit of a team game out there, but our engineers knew what they were doing.
“I was quicker than him and he made it easy for me to overtake and chase Seb [Buemi]. So fair play to him!
“The team in Paris deserves a massive shout out for all the work they have done so far this season. We have a great team and they never stop working.”
Taking 30 points away from Mexico City, DS Techeetah has moved into fifth in the Teams’ Championship with 55 points – 16 behind BMW who currently lead.