Antonio Felix da Costa and the BMW Andretti Formula E squad have hailed taking victory at the 2018/19 season-opening Ad Diriyah E-Prix as an “incredible” achievement.

da Costa claimed his maiden Formula E pole position in a disrupted, rain-hit qualifying session for the inaugural event in Saudi Arabia, before holding off a late charge from reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne to win the first race of the series' new Gen2 era. 

It marked Andretti’s first victory since beginning its Formula E involvement in 2014, while da Costa clinched his first win since his triumph with Amlin Aguri at the 2015 Buenos Aires E-Prix.

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“That’s a great day for me, BMW and the whole team," da Costa explained.

“I’m delighted for me, that I’m back at the top of the podium again after such a long time, but primarily for the team.

“We have always had the same goal, to get to this point. And each of us gave it our all.

“Days like this make it clear: It’s worth all the effort! Many thanks to everyone who played their part in this win.

“But we still have a lot of work to do. Jean-Eric Vergne was incredibly fast, it was really close at the end, my heart rate went through the roof. But in the end, I did enough.”

Team principal Roger Griffiths said: “It’s impossible to put into words the emotions in this moment.

"This race was our first opportunity to show what we as the BMW i Andretti Motorsport team can achieve - and we won at the first time of asking.

“It’s incredible. Without the support and the technology of BMW, this success would never have been possible. The victory belongs to the whole team.”

BMW made the Andretti outfit its full works programme in the all-electric championship ahead of season five, having previously worked with the team as part of a technical collaboration during the 2017/18 campaign.

“First race for our BMW i drivetrain, first pole position, first win - it’s just incredible,” added BMW motorsport director Jens Marquardt.

“Big thanks go to the entire development team of BMW i and BMW Motorsport in Munich.

“Together you did an incredible job! And of course, congratulations to António and everyone in the BMW i Andretti Motorsport team.

“I’m very proud of the whole team. There’s no better way to end the 2018 motorsport year, and you would be hard pushed to have a better start to a new project and a new season.”

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