With Robin Frijns receiving a drive-through penalty for not meeting the minimum required pit stop time and António Félix da Costa retiring because of a mechanical issue, the MS Amlin Andretti team experienced a disappointing race day in Mexico.
Having put together a solid fast lap, Félix da Costa qualified eighth while team-mate Frijns made a few small errors and qualified 17th. To the benefit of MS Amlin Andretti drivers, multiple teams received penalties post-qualifying which bumped the Dutchman up to P14 and the Portuguese up to P6.
Once the race started, Félix da Costa got caught in traffic on Lap 1 and had to escape to a runoff, losing seven spots. He fought hard and was able to work his way back to P6 before a mechanical issue forced the 25-year-old to retire early.
“We had a much better weekend, in terms of pace, than Buenos Aires. The homework we did helped a lot and we came here better prepared which means we are learning from our mistakes and doing what we have to do to compete. After the pit stop, we were looking good for a Top 5 finish and then I’m not sure what happened but we had a mechanical failure and I was forced to come in”, explained Félix da Costa.
Frijns made his way up to P5 before having to serve a drive-through penalty for not meeting the minimum required pit stop time. He was able to gain some spots again after the penalty but finished just outside the points in P11. “I felt like I was quicker than the cars in front of me but it is hard to overtake on the front stretch. Without the penalty we could have finished P4 or P5 so it was definitely a disappointment”, summarised Frijns.
Co-Team Principal Roger Griffiths concluded: “We are largely disappointed with the end result here in Mexico. We had a miscommunication on the minimum pit stop time: we executed to what we thought and understood to be correct but it was obviously wrong. We are very disappointed for both Robin and Antonio, as the two drove a great race. We’ve made some good progress with the operational aspects of the race team and we have to take the positives with the negatives. We look forward to putting that into practice in Monaco in a few weeks time.”