The MS Amlin Andretti team were optimistic of their chances ahead of the ePrix but started the day on the back foot with early problems
The scene of Antonio Felix da Costa’s maiden win in 2015 was not as kind in 2017.
The Portuguese driver crashed in the first practice session, forcing the team to rebuild his first car, though luckily the damage was not as extensive as that of teammate Robin Frijns’ in Hong Kong.
Da Costa was then sent out in his second car to rescue the session, only to come to a complete standstill on track and cause a second red flag.
Da Costa’s qualifying attempt was interrupted by a red flag, though he was allowed to complete another flying lap. However a mistake at the tight chicane of turn nine broke his suspension and he would start the Buenos Aires ePrix 17th with Frijns a few rows ahead in 13th.
Uncharacteristically for the two drivers, they struggled to make gains on their position during the race and were duelling for the most part out of the points. Da Costa finished in 11th, Frijns in 14th.
“This is a track that historically has been pretty good for me,” said da Costa after the race.
“I was looking forward to this race, but today I made things a little harder on us with the crash in FP1 – sorry to the MS Amlin Andretti crew for that. We tried to come back from that and then I made another mistake in qualifying and we had some small issues with the battery.”
“Problems just kept adding up, and when everything happens in one day it’s just hard to build confidence. We went into the race with a very positive mindset to go forward, but we struggled today.”
Teammate Frijns had a less eventful day, but struggled to find the pace to keep up with the others around him.
“The day started pretty OK,” said Frijns.
“In the race, we were able to keep our position with the start and tried to hold it and save as much energy as possible. We just couldn’t follow the guys surrounding us, so it was a difficult race for us. We need to learn from this and hopefully will get some good information to move forward.”
Team principal Roger Griffiths lamented the missed opportunities for the team in Argentina.
“It’s frustrating because we unloaded with a pretty quick car and we never capitalized on that,” he said.
“We just weren’t able to get into that rhythm during the race. On the positive side, the car ran reliably in the race; no issues and no repeats of some of the problems we saw early on. Some of the winter development we did has come to fruition, but obviously disappointed we are finishing out of the points.”