Da Costa evaluates Berlin’s style of racing: It’s a mess, but it’s fun

The Porsche driver gave his verdict on the controversial style of racing seen at the 2024 Berlin E-Prix

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Antonio Felix da Costa secured a victory on home soil for Porsche, holding off Jaguar’s Nick Cassidy to take the chequered flag at the second round of the 2024 Berlin E-Prix.

The Tempelhof Circuit is a track Da Costa is well-accustomed to, having now won there on three occasions. But despite his many victories here, racing in Berlin is still a unique challenge.

“You’re racing so many talented drivers and teams,” Da Costa told select members of the press, including Total-Motorsport.com on Sunday. “On top of that, you’re going six wide and trying to save energy.

“It’s just a mess, but it’s fun. It’s very stressful, but it’s fun.”

The first round of the 2024 Berlin E-Prix was particularly eventful, and was met with some vocal criticism from drivers such as Jean Eric Vergne, who had lambasted the style of racing in Berlin as “horrible”. 

Sunday’s race saw a departure from the more hectic manner of racing as seen on Saturday. Instead, Da Costa believed Sunday’s race was more in line with the drivers’ preferred style of racing, which sees the fastest car on track win, rather than a race dictated by energy-saving strategies.

“For the fairness of the sport, and for the fastest guy to win, I would say [Sunday’s race] is probably a better balance,” said Da Costa

Fun for fans?

Da Costa added that the opinion of the fans should also play a role in deciding how races ought to be run — not just the drivers. He shared his view that there are some positives to the ‘peloton’ style of racing, highlighting that it could appeal to fans. 

“If all our fans and all of our viewership are going crazy happy with the racing that they’re watching, then they are the ones we need to keep happy,” he said. “That’s the analysis as a championship that I think we have to do. 

“It’s about the fan base. It’s about the viewership. I think we should listen to the fans and see what they want to see.”

Oliver Rowland, who finished Sunday’s race in third, was quick to agree with Da Costa’s view that Formula E’s style of racing is more engaging for fans.

“A lot of the people that watch me that don’t have anything to do with motorsport think [Formula E] is miles better motorsport than they’ve ever watched before because they think the rest is boring,” said Rowland.

Rowland added that finding a balance between the tracks and the cars is key to the series’ success. “If we can make small steps forward on all these areas, we can make a good spectacle,” he said.

Jasmine Hughes
Jasmine Hughes
Experienced in digital content creation, Jasmine Hughes has written for a number of online publications, joining Total Motorsport in 2024. She previously served as FormulaNerds' Formula E Editor, leading coverage of the 2023 Formula E season. She has been watching Formula 1 since the age of 4, after falling in love with Fernando Alonso's blue-yellow Renault R25.
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