Porsche’s da Costa dominates second Shanghai E-Prix as Hughes nets first podium

Antonio Felix da Costa secured his second win in three races with a commanding drive in the second race of Formula E’s Shanghai E-Prix.

The TAG Heuer Porsche driver held off NEOM McLaren’s Jake Hughes who got his first Formula E podium after starting from pole position, having led for just under half of the 28-lap contest — one lap shorter than Saturday’s race.

Da Costa started third on the grid, and by waiting late to take his two passes through the longer Attack Mode line, he didn’t lose as much ground compared to others around him. He moved into the lead on lap 16, passing Andretti’s Norman Nato in the first corner.


Nato had been the pacesetter for much of the early stages of the race, having taken the lead himself on lap 4 — his fourth lap also being the fastest lap of the race – when front-row starter Stoffel Vandoorne dipped into the Attack Mode loop. Nato eventually finished third after da Costa and Hughes broke away, while Vandoorne wound up sixth.

All three faced a threat from Jaguar TCS Racing’s Nick Cassidy, who once again had an energy advantage due to the Jaguar’s superior efficiency, but his charge faded after he made contact with Hughes on lap 19 which left him with front wing damage. Cassidy led home teammate Mitch Evans with the DS Penskes of Vandoorne and Saturday polesitter Jean-Eric Vergne next up.

Maserati MSG Racing’s Maximilian Guenther wound up eighth, ahead of Envision Racing’s Robin Frijns who completed a stellar charge through the field from 20th on the grid.

It was a difficult day for championship challengers Oliver Rowland and Jake Dennis, who wound up 10th and 11th respectively having been unable to complete their customary climbs up the order as has come to be expected this season. They did fare better than fellow title protagonist Pascal Wehrlein, however, who finished a lowly 20th after pitting with a puncture following contact with McLaren’s Sam Bird.

Bird, who was the race’s only retirement, was also involved in a collision with Mahindra’s Nyck de Vries which resulted in a five-place grid penalty which will be served at the first race in Portland in five weeks time.

After both races in Shanghai, Cassidy remains in the lead of the championship with 167 points, 25 clear of Wehrlein, with Evans a further 10 back in third. Da Costa sits seventh, behind Rowland, Dennis, and Vergne, but could be something of a championship dark horse with his exclusion from the first Misano race still pending review. Should that race win be reinstated, he would be the only three-time winner this season and leapfrog Vergne, moving within a point of Dennis.


Story originally appeared on Racer