Antonio Felix da Costa power overuse and disqualification was driver error
BMW i Andretti Motorsport has confirmed that Antonio Felix da Costa's power overuse and subsequent disqualification at the Monaco E-Prix was a result of driver error.
In Monaco, da Costa fought from eighth on the grid to take sixth at the chequered flag to further advance his Season 5 title aspirations, moving onto 78 points to maintain fourth in the Drivers' Championship.
Post-race, however, da Costa's sixth place finish became provisional when the driver was under investigation for a power overuse on laps 50 and 51 - the final two laps of the 45-minute + 1 lap E-Prix.
The post-race investigation found that the Portuguese driver was in breach of Article 37.3 of the 2018/2019 FIA Formula E Sporting Regulations, running on 228kW as opposed to the maximum 200kW, with this resulting in the driver's disqualification from the ninth round of the season.
Roger Griffiths, BMW i Andretti Motorsport Team Principal, stated that the power overuse was caused by contact between da Costa and Jaguar's Mitch Evans in the closing stages of the race, with da Costa accidentally switching power modes as a result:
“This [the power overuse] was caused by contact during the race between António and Mitch Evans," said Griffiths.
"He [da Costa] then grabbed the steering wheel and accidentally switched to the higher power mode. He was unaware that he had done so and, as a team, we don't receive the telemetry, so it took a little while for us to realise what had happened.
"That meant that he drove using too much energy for a period of time and he has been punished for this rule infringement. This was an accidental infringement but the penalty was the logical decision.
"As a team, we're very disappointed with this outcome but we respect the decision made by race control.”
On the other side of the BMW team garage, a 13th place finish for Alexander Sims ensured that the team would have a point-less weekend in Monaco, with the British driver getting caught up in an incident with Robin Frijns in the dying stages of the race when competing for points.
Sims' struggles were further compounded post-race when the driver received a five-place grid penalty for the Berlin E-Prix when the driver was found to be the responsible party for Lucas di Grassi's retirement in the Principality.
After the Monaco E-Prix, BMW holds sixth in the Teams' Championship with 88 points, 11 points adrift of Nissan e.dams who complete the top five.
In the Drivers' Standings, da Costa remains in fourth with 70 points, 17 points adrift of leader Jean-Eric Vergne while Sims is 16th after failing to register a top 10 finish since January's Santiago E-Prix.
Formula E's fifth season of competition will continue on May 25 in Berlin - the penultimate round of the series' European leg of the 2018/19 calendar.