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Porsche Formula E driver Antonio Felix da Costa

Formula E: Antonio Felix da Costa on fitting into the Porsche family

Da Costa is set to continue his stint at the German team next season

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With his first year in the Porsche Formula E team behind him, Antonio Felix da Costa looks eager to stay with the German team.

Porsche Formula E driver Antonio Felix da Costa
Da Costa finished P9 in the 2023 Drivers’ Championship. (Image: TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team)

The 2020 Formula E Champion made the move from then-DS Techeeta (now DS Penske) at the end of the 2022 season. It generated excitement amongst fans, and was a swap that da Costa himself seemed hugely excited about.

With da Costa’s move coinciding with the introduction of the Gen3 car, da Costa had a mountain to climb at the beginning of the season. “I think last year was obviously a learning curve for everyone. When you introduce a completely new car, new tire for everyone, that’s a lot of work,” da Costa told FormulaNerds in October.

“On top of that, I had a whole complete new team to learn and meet, and understand how the work ethic works and how to get things done. So it was almost double the work than some of the other drivers, and we paid a small price for that.”

Tough beginnings

This learning curve made itself known in the opening stages of Season 9. Whilst da Costa’s teammate Pascal Wehrlein enjoyed an early championship lead, da Costa wasn’t so fortunate. A gulf opened up between the two teammates in the initial rounds, with da Costa’s P18 and P11 finishes at the Diriyah E-Prix bested by back-to-back victories for Wehrlein.

“Obviously, we didn’t start being competitive right off the bat. It wasn’t easy,” said da Costa. “But on the other hand, it was good to have Pascal [Wehrlein] on the other side of the garage delivering, winning races. It kind of sped up my process to get there.” 

Antonio Felix da Costa, TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team
Da Costa has already enjoyed a promising start to Season 10, performing well at pre-season testing in Valencia. (Image: Sam Bagnall / Formula E Media Bank)

“Now, 12 months later, everything is just happening in a much more natural way, the way that I like to operate and work. I know everyone. I know the car, I know the systems, I know all the software behind it, so it’s a lot easier.”

The foreseeable future…

The eight-time race winner now seems much more at home with Porsche. He’s set to remain with the team for Season 10. Looking beyond next year, da Costa appears eager to stay.

“I hate to change, I don’t normally change [teams],” he said. “I like to create, you know, put some ground work down where I am.”

“I don’t plan to go anywhere.” 

“Everything is just happening in a way, it is incredible,” he continued. “They [Porsche] welcomed me well last year, and after going through some bad moments and coming back to victories and stuff, you create really strong bonds.” 

The loss of Cape Town

Despite an initial slow start to the season for da Costa, the Portuguese driver got into the swing of things by Round 4 in Hyderabad. The Porsche driver took his first podium of the season with a P3 finish. 

Da Costa’s success in Hyderabad was swiftly followed by victory at the inaugural Cape Town E-Prix. It was a memorable race, with da Costa clinching victory with an audacious overtake on ex-teammate Jean-Eric Vergne. 

Whilst Cape Town earned its place as a fan favourite race in Season 9, the South African capital won’t be making an appearance next season. 

“I think it was one of the best races we’ve ever had, so I’m obviously very disappointed with that,” said da Costa. “On the other hand, we’re going to two new locations. Technically, China isn’t a new location but we’ve got it back. We’re going to Tokyo and Japan, and that’s going to be awesome. 

“So we lose some, we get some back, and then get some new ones. We keep on evolving. It’s not easy at all to throw a race in the middle of a city centre these days. I understand the struggles and you know, we take what we can get.” 

The 10th season of Formula E commences on 13 January 2024 with the Mexico E-Prix.

Featured Image Credit: TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team

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