New York City E-Prix 2 – Despite losing out in the final duel, Antonio Felix da Costa will inherit pole after Nick Cassidy was handed a 30 place penalty.
Cassidy was given the news just by Nicki Shields just as he and da Costa were about to start a joint interview. The Envision team had to change the battery pack and RESS radiator on their driver’s car after the crash which ended the race yesterday.
“I’ve got to be careful with my words,” Cassidy said. ”But I’ve been given a penalty for another car crashing into me. Doesn’t make any sense. Because there’s been a battery change due to the crash yesterday as Lucas [di Grassi] and Stoffel [Vandoorne] have hit me while I’m parked, so I see that as extremely unfair.”
Da Costa consoled his rival “I’m sorry man, you drove…that’s nothing to do with your lap.” And Cassidy was able to joke that if da Costa wants the trophy he can have it, but it’ll be in five pieces.
“It sucks for him to be honest,” da Costa said once Cassidy had gone to debrief with his team. “The funny thing about that quali is I knew he had a little edge on me so I went a little over my limit and it worked out for most of the lap, apart from T9, where I just had a small lock up on my right front, which is my outside wheel, and I just couldn’t turn in and I kind of missed it there.
“So it was fun to put it all on the line knowing the risks and what the consequences were and obviously taking pole now is not the way I wanted to do it. It was a super fun quali going head-to-head with Nick but yeah, I’ll take that for sure.”
When breaking the news Shields did say that the Envision’s Managing Director, Sylvain Filippi, was discussing the matter with the stewards so whether any arguments against the penalty can be made remains to be seen.
For now though the penalty means da Costa will start on pole with Alexander Sims alongside him. Andre Lotterer and Sergio Sette Camara will move up to P3 and P4, while Stoffel Vandoorne will now have Mitch Evans beside him on row three.
Row four will see Nyck de Vries in P7 with Oliver Askew P8, the all-Andretti row five being no more, as Jake Dennis will now be joined by Robin Frijns who moves up to P10.