BMW Andretti driver Antonio Felix da Costa has accepted the blame for colliding with team-mate Alexander Sims while running first and second in the closing stages of the Marrakech E-Prix.
Da Costa and Sims charged to the front of the field in the first 15 minutes of the 45-minute race. The pair initially pulled away to build a comfortable lead.
However, with da Costa’s pace dropping and Mahindra’s Jerome d’Ambrosio closing in, second-placed Sims attempted to pass his team-mate around the outside at the heavy-braking zone of Turn 7.
Locking up, da Costa bumped into the side of Sims and ended up hitting the barriers. Sims was forced into the run-off area before recovering to the circuit with minimal damage but having fallen to fourth place where he finished.
Da Costa, who entered the race as the championship leader after having won the opening round of the season in Al Diriyah, accepted the blame for the incident.
“First of all, apologies to the team,” he said. “I’ve never been in this situation before.
“Alex was amazing today. I made a mistake. We fought for it and I locked up, couldn’t make the corner and as a consequence, he lost out as well, so I’m sorry.
Despite the pair leading for a large portion of the race, team orders were never issued. Da Costa admitted that he should have conceded the lead and race victory to his rookie team-mate.
“I think I should have given him the race earlier to be honest.
“We won round one and should have been more than happy with P2 today. It’s a long year and clearly, the outcome of today is not how we are going to win this championship.
“So, we’ll learn from it and make us stronger.”
Sims echoed that the on-track situation was not correctly handled; “It was massively unfortunate to end like that.
“That’s not what any of us in the team would want but ultimately we all made mistakes in managing that situation and we need to learn from it.”
Inheriting the lead after the incident, d’Ambrosio was able to clinch victory and snatched the championship lead away from da Costa who now trails by 12 points in second place.