António Félix da Costa: Red Bull's rising star

António Félix da Costa: Red Bull's rising star

24 October 2012 – A young man from Portugal has emerged as one of motorsport’s most exciting talents this season. Although his name was already known by many throughout feeder ranks, stunning performances in both GP3 and the ultra-competitive Formula Renault 3.5 championship proved his ability to compete against the world's finest up and coming drivers. This is of course Red Bull Junior driver António Félix da Costa.

The 21-year-old, who claimed a trio of GP3 wins for Carlin during his primary 2012 campaign, was drafted in to replace Lewis Williamson from the fourth World Series round in June. Competing for Arden Caterham, ten points finishes from a possible 12 followed, including a spectacular run of four victories from the final five races.

"Thanks a lot," Félix da Costa says when GPUpdate.net congratulates him. "It was an amazing way to finish. Winning both races in Barcelona in such a competitive championship makes me feel really happy for myself and for the team. In this case I showed everybody what we can do. But again, this is a job that me and Arden Caterham did together and the results are the consequence of all the hard work."

So impressive was Félix da Costa’s World Series birth, his average points total per race levelled out at 13.83. Compared to newly-crowned Champion Robin Frijns, whose total stands at just over 11, it’s a margin that proves the title was there for the taking if he had been fighting for it from the very beginning. This statistic was obviously positive news, but he remains completely grounded about what might lie ahead.

"It feels really good to know that," he comments, having missed out on a potential 125 points, "but 2013 is another season and we will all start from zero, so if we repeat the World Series then we will have to work hard again from the beginning. Hard work is the key for success, especially in such a competitive championship like this."

Félix da Costa demonstrated Red Bull's RB7 in Korea earlier this month
Although a second year in Formula Renault 3.5 "would make sense" for the man from Lisbon, his Formula 1 duties are fast-increasing. He will be taking part in a two-day test for Red Bull in Abu Dhabi next month, an outing which he believes will be crucial in the team's bid to defend both world titles.

"I’m really looking forward to it," he says. "It is the World Champion’s car and shows the confidence that Red Bull is putting in me. Two days in F1 is always amazing, but in the Red Bull it is a dream come true.

"On the other hand, I am there to work on a specific programme and not really look at lap times. We have a plan to complete and my job is to give the best feedback I can in order to improve as much as possible. I must work hard and do a really good job, not just for my career but also to help Red Bull over these final few races. This test is really important to get the Constructors’ and Drivers’ championships."

With track time so limited outside of this test, it is important to look at what might be on the cards in 2013. All mileage is of massive benefit in modern day Formula 1, so could Friday practice runs be possible with junior outfit Toro Rosso?

"In life everything is possible, but this is something that is not up to me to decide," he replies in an honest manner. "My job is to drive my best in the championship that Red Bull decides. If they put me in Friday practice I must do a good job there, but at the moment I am thinking about doing the best possible job in Abu Dhabi and then at the Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix."

The last time a Portuguese driver lined up on the Formula 1 grid was at the Brazilian Grand Prix of 2006, when Tiago Monteiro contested his final race for Spyker. However, if Félix da Costa’s results over the past six months are anything to go by, his nation’s patient wait for a new Grand Prix star could come to an end sooner rather than later.


Mike Seymour
GPUpdate.net Editor

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Friday 30 September 2016

  2. Bryan Herta/Andretti renew partnership 19:05

    Bryan Herta/Andretti renew partnership

    Bryan Herta Autosport and Andretti Autosport have confirmed that they have extended their partnership into the 2017 IndyCar…

    Indy
  3. Hockenheim: No agreement for 2017 F1 race 17:58

    Hockenheim: No agreement for 2017 F1 race

    Officials at Hockenheim say there is currently no agreement in place for the circuit to host the German Grand Prix next year…

    F1
  4. 14:02

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  5. 13:30

    Latest Formula 1 photos: Friday at Sepang

    F1
  6. Palou excluded from GP3 qualifying 13:29

    Palou excluded from GP3 qualifying

    Campos driver Álex Palou has been excluded from the results of GP3 qualifying at Sepang after his car was found to be in breach…

    GP3
  7. Alonso boosted by McLaren improvements 13:15

    Alonso boosted by McLaren improvements

    Fernando Alonso was left boosted by McLaren's progress after an encouraging pair of practice sessions for the Malaysian Grand…

    F1
  8. Renault: Valve problem led to Magnussen fire 12:12

    Renault: Valve problem led to Magnussen fire

    Renault Technical Director Nick Chester has confirmed that a problem with the valve on a fuel breather pipe triggered Kevin…

    F1
  9. Force India 'very confident' Pérez will stay 10:53

    Force India 'very confident' Pérez will stay

    Force India Deputy Team Principal Bob Fernley has reiterated that the outfit is "very confident" over Sergio Pérez remaining…

    F1
  10. 10:36

    Latest GP3 photos: Friday at Sepang

    GP3
  11. Leclerc leads ART 1-2-3 in Sepang qualifying 10:35

    Leclerc leads ART 1-2-3 in Sepang qualifying

    Ferrari protégé Charles Leclerc extended his GP3 Series title advantage to 28 points after taking his fourth pole position of…

    GP3
  12. Verstappen optimistic over long run pace 09:50

    Verstappen optimistic over long run pace

    Max Verstappen feels that Red Bull is looking "very strong" on its long run pace after the first day of practice for the…

    F1
  13. 09:42

    Latest GP2 photos: Friday at Sepang

    GP2
  14. Gasly beats title rival Giovinazzi to pole 09:41

    Gasly beats title rival Giovinazzi to pole

    Pierre Gasly extended his GP2 Series advantage to 14 points after beating Prema team-mate and title rival Antonio Giovinazzi to…

    GP2
  15. Hamilton: First day a 'good building block' 09:28

    Hamilton: First day a 'good building block'

    Lewis Hamilton has called his first day of practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix a "good building block", after struggling in…

    F1
  16. Vettel urges Ferrari to take any chances 09:10

    Vettel urges Ferrari to take any chances

    Sebastian Vettel has urged Ferrari to take any opportunities that come its way over the final six races of the season, starting…

    F1
  17. 08:35

    Malaysian Grand Prix: Full Practice 2 results

    F1
  18. Hamilton moves ahead in second practice 08:33

    Hamilton moves ahead in second practice

    Lewis Hamilton moved to the top of the times during Friday afternoon's second free practice session for the Malaysian Grand…

    F1
  19. 06:51

    Follow second practice for the Malaysian GP!

    F1
  20. Renault hopes to run Magnussen in FP2 04:59

    Renault hopes to run Magnussen in FP2

    Renault is hopeful of fielding Kevin Magnussen during Friday afternoon's second practice session for the Malaysian Grand Prix…

    F1
  21. 04:36

    Malaysian Grand Prix: Full Practice 1 results

    F1
  22. Rosberg comfortably tops FP1 at Sepang 04:35

    Rosberg comfortably tops FP1 at Sepang

    Nico Rosberg comfortably topped the timesheets during Friday morning's opening free practice session for the Malaysian Grand…

    F1
  23. First practice red flagged after Magnussen fire 03:38

    First practice red flagged after Magnussen fire

    Friday's first practice session for the Malaysian Grand Prix was red flagged after Kevin Magnussen's car caught fire in the pit…

    F1
  24. 02:52

    Follow first practice for the Malaysian GP!

    F1
  25. Magnussen: Team-mate Palmer underrated 02:24

    Magnussen: Team-mate Palmer underrated

    Kevin Magnussen believes his reputation has been hindered by having a rookie team-mate, commenting that Jolyon Palmer is…

    F1
  26. Video of the Day: Bottas' 'My Path' - #1 01:00

    Video of the Day: Bottas' 'My Path' - #1

    Valtteri Bottas begins his 'My Path' series which tells his story of becoming a Formula 1 driver with Williams.

    F1
  27. Thursday 29 September 2016

  28. Video: Daniel Ricciardo on season so far 16:02

    Video: Daniel Ricciardo on season so far

    Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo discusses his season so far and racing alongside with Max Verstappen.

    F1
  29. Mercedes set for first 2016 title chance 15:32

    Mercedes set for first 2016 title chance

    For the third successive season Mercedes has an opportunity to clinch the Constructors' championship at the 16th round of the…

    F1
  30. Ed Carpenter Racing confirms Newgarden exit 15:04

    Ed Carpenter Racing confirms Newgarden exit

    Ed Carpenter Racing has confirmed that Josef Newgarden will not return to the team for the 2017 IndyCar season. Newgarden has…

    Indy
  31. Canada chiefs confident over 2017 F1 race 14:40

    Canada chiefs confident over 2017 F1 race

    Organisers of the Canadian Grand Prix say they remain "confident" that an agreement will be reached between local officials and…

    F1
  32. 12:04

    Latest F1 photos: Thursday at Sepang

    F1
  33. Massa has no regrets over retirement call 12:02

    Massa has no regrets over retirement call

    Felipe Massa says he has no regrets over his decision to retire from Formula 1 at the end of the season, and insists his…

    F1
  34. Drivers offer views on new track surface 10:36

    Drivers offer views on new track surface

    Formula 1 drivers have offered their views on the resurfacing and reprofiling work at Sepang, with Jenson Button suggesting that…

    F1
  35. Video: Vettel previews Malaysian GP 10:22

    Video: Vettel previews Malaysian GP

    Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel looks ahead to the Malaysia Grand Prix as he goes in search of back-to-back victories.

    F1
  36. Steiner rules out Leclerc for 2017 seat 09:05

    Steiner rules out Leclerc for 2017 seat

    Haas team boss Guenther Steiner has ruled out giving a race seat to Ferrari youngster Charles Leclerc for 2017, stating that a…

    F1
  37. Alonso to trial upgraded Honda engine 08:28

    Alonso to trial upgraded Honda engine

    Fernando Alonso will test an updated engine during practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix, as Honda works through its final…

    F1
  38. Sainz Jr. says Renault interest an 'honour' 07:15

    Sainz Jr. says Renault interest an 'honour'

    Carlos Sainz Jr. has admitted that Renault's interest in acquiring his services is an "honour", though insists his current…

    F1
  39. Brazil organisers surprised by 'TBC' status 07:13

    Brazil organisers surprised by 'TBC' status

    Organisers of the Brazilian Grand Prix have expressed surprise that their race has been given provisional status on next year's…

    F1
  40. Pérez: Next week 'crucial' for F1 future 06:41

    Pérez: Next week 'crucial' for F1 future

    Sergio Pérez says that the next week will be "crucial" for his Formula 1 future as he looks to finally confirm where he will be…

    F1
  41. Comtec in line for V8 3.5 return at Jerez 05:02

    Comtec in line for V8 3.5 return at Jerez

    Comtec will make a return to the Formula V8 3.5 championship at Jerez next month with Australian youngster Thomas…

    FV8 3.5
  42. Video of the Day: Life in the pit lane - #4 04:04

    Video of the Day: Life in the pit lane - #4

    Andy McMillan discusses his 'wheel off' duties in the next part of Williams' 'Life in the pit lane' series.

    F1
more news