2012 was a remarkable year for Antonio Felix da Costa. As breakthrough years go, the Portuguese man’s one was breathtaking. He started out competing in the GP3 Series, but ended up winning races in Formula Renault 3.5 & the prestigious Macau end-of-season Formula 3 event, joining the Red Bull stable at the same time. There are many within motorsport who think Felix da Costa is the best driver under the guidance of Red Bull since one Sebastian Vettel. Very high praise indeed.
Antonio Felix da Costa has only been racing single seaters since 2008, where he competed in the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC series, winning once & finishing second in the championship in his rookie season. In 2009, he returned & dominated the championship, winning nine times out of fourteen races. He also won three races in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 series in a run to third in the final standings.
2010 & 2011 were more disappointing however for the young Portuguese man. In 2010, he finished 7th in the championship (despite winning three times) in the Formula 3 Euro Series, and also made his debut in the GP3 series for Carlin, scoring three points in the four races he competed in. A full season with Status GP in the GP3 series followed in 2011, and he won once on the way to thirteenth in the final standings. It was thought that 2012 would be his last opportunity to show the world that he could drive.
He returned to the Carlin GP3 team for 2012, partnering British drivers Alex Brundle & William Buller. He won three races during the season and finished third in the championship table. However his impressive drives had caught the eye of the Red Bull stable, and he was signed up by them to race in the Formula Renault 3.5 series in the Arden Caterham team, after they dropped Lewis Williamson for under-performing.
His performances after he joined the team were superb. Despite joining mid-season, he finished 4th in the final standings, scoring the most points of anyone over the last half of the season, winning on four occasions. He also joined the Formula 3 series finale at the legendary Macau track for Carlin, and became the first Portuguese winner since 1954. In one year he had driven in three series’ and won races in them all, some achievement. He also ran as Red Bull’s representitive in the Formula 1 Young Drivers test at the close of 2012.
He’s returned to the Arden Caterham team in Formula Renault 3.5 for 2013, and is the championship favourite. He’s already won once so far this season, but luck hasn’t always been on his side. He is still firmly in the championship hunt however.
Many people are saying Antonio Felix da Costa will be in Formula 1 sooner rather than later, quite possibly in the Toro Rosso team in 2014. Others are placing him even higher, saying that he could by-pass Toro Rosso altogether and join Red Bull in place of Mark Webber. Whether or not either of them happen is yet to be seen, but we certainly haven’t heard the last of quite possibly the best driver ever to have come out of Portugal.