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. Wednesday 27 August 2014

  2. Vettel gets new race engineer for 2015 15:17

    Vettel gets new race engineer for 2015

    Red Bull has confirmed that Gianpiero Lambiase will become Sebastian Vettel's new race engineer from the 2015 season, after...

    F1
  3. Video: Rosberg's ice bucket challenge 13:30

    Video: Rosberg's ice bucket challenge

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg takes the ALS ice bucket challenge.

    F1
  4. Frijns management denies GP2 speculation 11:58

    Frijns management denies GP2 speculation

    The management team behind Robin Frijns has denied that the Dutchman is pondering a GP2 return. According to media...

    F1
  5. Yamaha 'confident' of Silverstone victory 11:15

    Yamaha 'confident' of Silverstone victory

    Yamaha Team Director Massimo Meregalli says he is "confident" that the Japanese manufacturer has what it takes to claim its...

    MotoGP
  6. McLaren admits drivers 'uncomfortable' over futures 10:33

    McLaren admits drivers 'uncomfortable' over futures

    McLaren admits that the uncertainty over its line-up for 2015 and beyond has left Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen feeling...

    F1
  7. Mark Sutton: Story behind the shot - Belgium 09:56

    Mark Sutton: Story behind the shot - Belgium

    Especially for lovers of motorsport photography, GPUpdate.net is this season running a feature series entitled Story behind...

    F1
  8. Renault with 'renewed confidence' for Monza 09:00

    Renault with 'renewed confidence' for Monza

    Renault has said it will go to the Italian Grand Prix next week with "renewed confidence". The French manufacturer took...

    F1
  9. Video of the Day: Wind tunnel guide - Part 7 05:00

    Video of the Day: Wind tunnel guide - Part 7

    Sauber's Head of Aerodynamics, Willem Toet, continues his talk on the science of F1 wind tunnel design.

    F1
  10. Tuesday 26 August 2014

  11. Video: Onboard with Vettel in Sochi 18:05

    Video: Onboard with Vettel in Sochi

    Join Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel as he becomes the first ever Formula 1 driver to do a lap of the Sochi Autodrom, venue for...

    F1
  12. Ecclestone: Greece 'keen' to hold F1 race 17:30

    Ecclestone: Greece 'keen' to hold F1 race

    Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that a grand prix in Greece is still a possibility, even though the...

    F1
  13. FIA will not take action against Rosberg 16:38

    FIA will not take action against Rosberg

    The FIA has no plans to investigate Nico Rosberg despite Lewis Hamilton's claims that German admitted he had deliberately...

    F1
  14. Pedrosa with 'good momentum' for Silverstone 15:30

    Pedrosa with 'good momentum' for Silverstone

    Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa says he will take "good momentum" to Silverstone this weekend for the British Grand...

    MotoGP
  15. 15:18

    Photos: Vettel laps Sochi Grand Prix Circuit

    F1
  16. Verstappen makes Formula 1 test debut 14:32

    Verstappen makes Formula 1 test debut

    Max Verstappen tested a Formula 1 car for the very first time today at Rockingham Motor Speedway in Northamptonshire. The...

    F1
  17. Alonso: Mercedes will struggle to keep peace 13:05

    Alonso: Mercedes will struggle to keep peace

    Fernando Alonso believes Mercedes will find it "difficult" to keep both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton happy this...

    F1
  18. Whitmarsh officially leaves McLaren 12:16

    Whitmarsh officially leaves McLaren

    Martin Whitmarsh has now officially left McLaren, it has been confirmed, with both "agreeing amicably to part...

    F1
  19. Ricciardo 'staying grounded' amid title talk 12:10

    Ricciardo 'staying grounded' amid title talk

    Daniel Ricciardo says he is "staying grounded" and will not get carried away, despite suggestions he might have an outside...

    F1
  20. 11:28

    Photos: Belgian GP in black and white

    F1
  21. Vettel becomes first driver to sample Sochi 10:30

    Vettel becomes first driver to sample Sochi

    Sebastian Vettel has become the first Formula 1 driver to do a full lap of the Sochi Autodrom circuit ahead of the inaugural...

    F1
  22. Winners and Losers at the Belgian Grand Prix 10:00

    Winners and Losers at the Belgian Grand Prix

    Spa-Francorchamps played host to a captivating and controversial race as Daniel Ricciardo claimed his third win of the...

    F1
  23. Button: Shame it is not a cleaner fight 09:35

    Button: Shame it is not a cleaner fight

    McLaren's Jenson Button says it is a "shame" that it is not a "cleaner fight" between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton for...

    F1
  24. Caterham: More updates on way for Monza 09:00

    Caterham: More updates on way for Monza

    Caterham Team Principal Christijan Albers has confirmed that the outfit will have more updates for the Italian Grand Prix...

    F1
  25. Video of the Day: Neuville's big shakedown crash 05:00

    Video of the Day: Neuville's big shakedown crash

    In case you missed it, here is how Thierry Neuville warmed-up for Rallye Deutschland, where he took his - and Hyundai's -...

    WRC
  26. Monday 25 August 2014

  27. Horner: Not Vettel's fault he only finished fifth 18:05

    Horner: Not Vettel's fault he only finished fifth

    Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has defended Sebastian Vettel and has said it was not "his fault" he only finished...

    F1
  28. Lotus still looking for 'pot of good luck' 17:22

    Lotus still looking for 'pot of good luck'

    Federico Gastaldi says that Lotus will "keep looking for that pot of good luck" after more misery in the Belgian Grand...

    F1
  29. Fry: Start procedures need to be improved 16:39

    Fry: Start procedures need to be improved

    Ferrari engineering guru Pat Fry says the team will need to "learn to improve" its procedures in light of Fernando Alonso's...

    F1
  30. Video: Rosberg denies Hamilton claims 15:40

    Video: Rosberg denies Hamilton claims

    Nico Rosberg has disputed claims made by Lewis Hamilton that he admitted to deliberately crashing into him. The German...

    F1
  31. Lotterer thanks Caterham for F1 outing 15:30

    Lotterer thanks Caterham for F1 outing

    André Lotterer has thanked the Caterham F1 team after he got the chance to compete for the squad in Belgium and make his...

    F1
  32. Button enjoys playing 'long game' in Belgium 14:14

    Button enjoys playing 'long game' in Belgium

    Jenson Button says he had "fun" en-route to an eventual sixth place finish in the Belgian Grand Prix. Button started...

    F1
  33. Video: Sonoma IndyCar highlights 13:57

    Video: Sonoma IndyCar highlights

    Scott Dixon wins the penultimate round of the 2014 IndyCar season at Sonoma.

    Indy
  34. Kvyat: This was a good but tough race 13:02

    Kvyat: This was a good but tough race

    Daniil Kvyat enjoyed "a positive weekend" and took his fifth points finish of the season on Sunday in the Belgian Grand...

    F1
  35. Pérez: I achieved the most possible at Spa 12:15

    Pérez: I achieved the most possible at Spa

    Sergio Pérez reckons he achieved the "most that was possible" during the Belgian Grand Prix. The Mexican started down in...

    F1
  36. Mercedes to 'strengthen focus' on Constructors' 11:03

    Mercedes to 'strengthen focus' on Constructors'

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has confirmed the team will "strengthen its focus" on securing the Constructors' Championship now...

    F1
  37. Rosberg: Hamilton clash a 'racing incident' 10:18

    Rosberg: Hamilton clash a 'racing incident'

    Nico Rosberg has insisted the collision with Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton during the Belgian Grand Prix was a "racing...

    F1
  38. Vettel: Maybe the racing was a bit too hard 09:46

    Vettel: Maybe the racing was a bit too hard

    Sebastian Vettel has said the racing "sometimes" was "maybe a bit too hard" in the closing stages of the Belgian Grand...

    F1
  39. 06:04

    Latest IndyCar photos: Sunday at Sonoma

    Indy
  40. Dixon outlasts field at Sonoma after leaders falter 06:03

    Dixon outlasts field at Sonoma after leaders falter

    Scott Dixon came from third on the grid to outlast the field in the closing laps to win the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma on...

    Indy
  41. Video of the Day: Youngsters on Max promotion 05:00

    Video of the Day: Youngsters on Max promotion

    Fellow young hopefuls share their views on Max Verstappen's Formula 1 promotion with Toro Rosso.

    F1
  42. 03:00

    Championship standings after Belgium

    F1
  43. Sunday 24 August 2014

  44. 18:00

    Latest F1 photos: Sunday at Spa-Francorchamps

    F1
more news