DS Techeetah’s Antonio Felix da Costa believes any one of his 23 opponents could win the ABB FIA Formula E Championship title as the series returns today in Berlin Tempelhof.

The all-electric championship returns to Tempelhof Airport for the most intense season finale in the history of motorsport with six races in nine days, taking place behind-closed-doors in order to adhere to Covid-19 safety precautions.

Championship leader Da Costa holds an 11-point lead over Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Mitch Evans in the drivers’ standings, having won last time out – 158 days ago in Marrakesh – but every driver is still mathematically able to leave as champion on 13 August.

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

Formula E is famed for its unpredictability with equal opportunities for all drivers to win races thanks to uniform car components and a reverse qualifying format – with every single race having been won by a different driver this season along with nine different winners last year.

And speaking ahead of the first race, Da Costa admitted he would be facing challenges from all angles when it heats up on track, underlining how the enforced break has given teams the chance to analyse driver performance.

“My biggest challenger? The other 23 drivers,” said the Portuguese driver. “I really think this. We have to approach these races with the view that anyone can win the championship.

“Porsche, Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar, Nissan, all these guys have had time to look at what has happened in the first five rounds and will have made steps forward, so it is impossible to predict who will be strong. I am really expecting everyone to be close together.

“It is better to arrive here in Berlin with a small advantage of 10 points or whatever, but the chat I had with the team is that it really doesn’t matter. It is obviously mentally a different way to go racing, because we have a lot of races in a short amount of time.

“I am expecting a lot of people to be competitive here, so it is going to be tough.”

Da Costa might face his biggest threat internally from his DS Techeetah team-mate, and reigning two-time Formula E champion, Jean-Eric Vergne who currently sits back in eighth place after a quiet start to the season.

But Da Costa admitted he took experience from last season to never write off the Frenchman.

“There is no reason for anyone not to approach these races as trying to win the championship, and JEV (Vergne) has clearly been doing that,” he added.

“I think at this point last year his then teammate Andre (Lotterer) was actually far ahead of him and he still came back to win, so he knows it can be done and I can see he is very hungry for it. We will push each other, and I can use that to my advantage as well.”

Formula E returns after a 158-day enforced absence with a world changed – and the championship is returning with a statement of intent to renew its commitment to delivering a better future for all through racing.

The paddock last night paid an emotional tribute to those affected by the global coronavirus pandemic through a moving, visual tribute to mark their Positively Charged campaign of inclusivity – a paddock Da Costa was delighted to return to.

“It’s great to be able to get back to real racing,” he said. “This paddock, we travel the world together, we have a lot of friends here; teams, drivers, mechanics and it’s great to see everyone together and healthy.”

Watch the return of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship live on BBC Red Button, BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport Website as well as Eurosport 2 on 5 August at 6pm BST.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

‘I don’t owe anyone anything’: Russian Olympic figure skating champ Zagitova on her ‘haters’

Zagitova burst onto the senior figure skating scene in the 2017-18 season, winning the Grand Prix title before clinching gold at the Winter Olympics in South Korea at the tender age of 15. That victory was not without controversy, with…

How Salah became the pride of Egypt

“Many coaches will say that they made him famous but I know it was down to me,” insists Said El Shishiny. The man who first met Mohamed Salah when he was a slight teenager playing for El Mokawloon’s Under-16 side…

How much is too much? Why footballers SHOULD NOT be asked to bear financial burden of COVID-19 pandemic (VIDEO)

The impact of the coronavirus crisis on global sport has been immeasurable. The ongoing pandemic has led to a near-worldwide shutdown of almost all sports, forcing officials of various disciplines to confront an immediate future without one of their primary…

‘It’s ironic he’s on his knees’: Gaethje mocks McGregor for ‘losing clout’ as newly-crowned UFC interim champ targets Khabib

Gaethje blew the lightweight division open as he claimed the interim lightweight title with his brutal win over Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 on Saturday night. The victory put Gaethje in pole position to take on undisputed champion Khabib Nurmagomedov,…