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Formula E

Porsche drivers frustrated after strategic blunder

Porsche looked set for a podium finish in the São Paulo E-Prix, only for a strategic mishap to impact Wehrlein and da Costa.

Porsche São Paulo
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To news overview © Simon Galloway / Formula E

Factory Porsche drivers Pascal Wehrlein and Antonio Felix da Costa were both "disappointed" after the São Paulo E-Prix, having felt that a podium was on the cards.

Wehrlein finished in fourth after overtaking Jake Dennis on the exit of the final corner, whilst da Costa finished sixth. However, in the early stages of the race, the two Porsche drivers ran first and second.

Porsche's strategy was obvious in the opening laps, as Wehrlein and da Costa quickly gained control of the race. Wehrlein had started on pole position, after defeating Stoffel Vandoorne by 0.002 secs in the final duel.

The Stuttgart-based side's strategy worked a treat in the opening laps, but soon started to fall apart when Sam Bird got into the lead. Suddenly, Porsche found themselves amongst less efficient cars, allowing the leaders to escape.

This was particularly evident mid-race, a period where Wehrlein recognises the team failed.

“Overall, it was a positive weekend with pole position," said Wehrlein. "However, I’m not completely satisfied with how the race went. We failed to push further forward in the middle of the race. After the safety car phases, it was even more difficult to overtake.

"That’s when I lost a potential podium finish. More would’ve been possible for us today. But we simply didn’t make the most of our opportunities.”

'A little disappointed'

Da Costa was just as frustrated as Wehrlein to have missed out on the podium, especially after he progressed from ninth to second with ease in the opening phase of the race.

The Portuguese driver was one of the first to be impacted by de-rating which severely limited the progress he could make in the closing stages, although he at least left Brazil having finally scored some points.

“To be honest, I’m a little disappointed with the outcome of the race," admitted da Costa. "A podium was on the cards for us today. In the final phase, we didn't seem to have everything one hundred per cent together.

"We can still improve as a team. Personally, I came to São Paulo determined to deliver a solid performance. In the race, we matched the pace of the fastest drivers and that’s something we can build on.”

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