Exclusive: Antonio Felix da Costa Q&A
Sky Sports F1 Online catches up with the Red Bull junior driver
By William Esler
Last Updated: 16/04/13 4:50pm
When Red Bull saw that Sebastien Buemi was at Silverstone and they needed a reserve driver last weekend, out of all the drivers who would have loved that position, they went for you - that must give you great confidence.
Antonio Felix da Costa: "For sure, it is great to know that Red Bull trust me with this kind of job. If anything happens, you have to be able to step in and deliver and it is good to be trusted. They told me a few months ago that I would be getting the opportunity. At the end of the day this is Sebastien's [Buemi] role, but as you said it is not a bad thing for sure."
How was the experience in China?
AFdC: "It was really nice - it couldn't be bad as you are spending four days with a World Champion team, you are listening, watching, feeling it, so you learn a lot. There was nothing for me to lose and lots for me to gain and if I can learn and take some of the things to my current series it will be good."
What kind of things did you learn from Red Bull over the weekend?
AFdC: "Just how the team operates and how they communicate and everything - it is motorsport on the highest level and you can only learn from it. If you are in GP2, World Series, whatever, you want to be like the best - so to spend a few days with the best is good."
Red Bull are a triple double World Champions, how easy was it for you to settle into the team and the environment?
AFdC: "It was ok - I've been doing some of the simulator work for them, so I knew some of the guys and some of the mechanics. I did the young driver test last year, so it wasn't too bad, they were all very welcoming."
Have they given you an indication of doing it again - the Singapore GP clashes with American round of the WEC?
AFdC: "I don't know anything about it yet."
Do you think we will see you in F1 this season, maybe taking part in a first practice session on a Friday?
AFdC: "That is really up to Red Bull and Helmut Marko to decide. I think the main focus is that if I do well in World Series, good things will come, so my focus at the minute is in World Series."
Looking at the World Series then - you showed really good pace at Monza at the opening round. You were hunting down the leader in race one before your tyre blew and then you picked up victory in Sunday's race.
AFdC: "Yeah, the pace was really good - to be honest, I think it would have been easier to win race one, rather than race two. When I was running in second place, both [Stoffel] Vandoorne in first and [Kevin] Magnussen in third had big flat spots on their tyres - so they couldn't really push and I could just go for it. I closed six seconds on him [Vandoorne] in five laps and there were 15 laps to go and I was right there, so it could have been a double win. But at the end of the day it is motorsport and I think it was meant to be for him to win that race - for the story of the Championship it is good that a rookie wins - so let's see how the rest of the season turns out."
Are you confident you can win the title with Arden Caterham this year?
AFdC: "Oh yes! For sure that is the goal, no doubt."