Red Bull Junior Team 2013 - Driver - António Félix da Costa
After a superb 2012 António Félix da Costa sets his sights on winning the 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 series. The 21-year-old Portuguese made his intentions clear with some blistering performances in preseason testing. Driving for Arden Caterham, as he did last year, he was over a second quicker than last year's pole time during the final collective test at Catalunya and headed the timing sheet for the two day test just as he had done at the Paul Ricard test in March.
The 2013 preseason pace is no surprise after a great 2012 in which he showed his remarkable skills in a wide variety of circumstances and conditions, winning 3 races in GP3 where he finished 3rd in the championship and taking 4 victories in Formula Renault 3.5 to end the year 4th in the points even though he missed the first 5 races. He underlined his skill and versatility with victory in the F3 race at Macau to close the year.
He has come a long way since he followed his brother Duarte into racing. Born on August 31, 1991 in Lisbon Antonio made his entry into the Portuguese Karting Cup at the age of 9.
Though the opposition had a great deal more experience he quickly established himself and won many titles both inside Portugal and abroad. He was thus seen as a major hope for Portuguese motorsport success.
By 2007 not only was he competing at the very highest international karting level; the Italian Open Masters Championship, European Championship, Asia-Pacific Championship and the World Championship but that December he made the jump to a single seater, signing with the German team Motopark Academy and becoming the youngest Portuguese driver ever to compete in Formula Renault 2.0.
In 2008 he was runner-up in Formula Renault 2.0 (NEC), in his rookie year making the podium 11 times including one victory. He also contested 3 rounds of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and scored points in this ultra competitive series.
He dominated the NEC Formula Renault 2.0 series the following year with 9 wins in 14 races. In Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 he only lost the 2009 title thanks to an unfortunate disqualification and was 3rd.
2010 saw a step up to the F3 Euro Series and it was a very successful move. He scored 3 victories, gained the Best Rookie title and was 6th in the charismatic Macau Grand Prix at the end of the season.
These results did not go unnoticed by the Formula 1 teams and he was invited to test Force India in Abu Dhabi and became the youngest rider ever to drive a Formula 1 car. The 19 year old was an impressive 3rd time overall, only beaten by the faster McLaren and Red Bull.
He moved on to GP3 for 2011 gaining more experience and driving for the Status Grand Prix team for whom he won at Monza, the final race of the year. He joined Carlin Motorsport for 2012 and had early success with a 2nd at Monaco in GP3. He joined the Red Bull Junior Team in June of 2012 and added the Renault 3.5 series to his calendar, immediately scoring points at the Nürburgring.
Currently living in Milton Keynes, England, near the Red Bull Racing F1 team and also Arden Caterham, he clearly sees success in this year's Renault series as a step into F1. At the end of 2012 he again took part in the F1 young driver test at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi. He concluded his second day by putting Red Bull on top of the times by nearly half a second.
|2012:||3rd GP3 Series, 3 wins, 1 pole position, 6 podiums, 5 fastest laps
4th Formula Renault 3.5 Series, 4 wins, 6 podiums, 2 fastest laps.
1st SJM Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix
|2011:||13th GP3, one race win, Monza Race 2|
|2010:||7th Formula 3 Euro Series, 3 race wins|
|2009:||3rd Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup
1st Formula Renault 2.0 (NEC)/td>
|2008:||2nd Formula Renault 2.0 (NEC)|
|2007:||2nd South Garda Winter Cup - KF2|
|2006:||3rd Italian Open Masters ICA Junior class
1st Portuguese Karting Champion, Junior class
2nd WSK International Series ICA Junior class
|2005:||2nd Portugal Cup Junior class|
|2002:||1st Portuguese Championship, Cadet class
1st Portugal K Open Championship, Cadet class