Ahead of the second race of the Formula Renault 3.5 series at Silverstone, I managed to speak to works BMW driver Antonio Felix da Costa on his current season in DTM, driving around Silverstone in the RB8, and Formula 1.
Da Costa recently just won his first race in DTM at Zandvoort, however its still be a tough to get on top of the highly competitive series. “Its ok, bit of up and down. I think everyone would say the same thing; every driver that races in that championship,” he said. “Its really tricky, but at the same time its really enjoyable to race with completely professional drivers and to race for a manufacturer like BMW gives me great pleasure and I enjoy a lot my time in that championship.”
“We have had a win already this year so, I was really happy to get that one especially on a technical track like Zandvoort. Its a championship that we have to be patient in, its not easy to do the job already; to be champion in year one or year two. I hope to get another few chances and go for the championship sometime soon.”
DTM was recently the subject of a lot controversy surrounding Audi Sport manager Dr Wolfgang Ullrich, who told one of his drivers at the Red Bull Ring to force two competitors off over the team radio in German. Da Costa naturally didn’t have much to comment, but did quip: “He did the job perfectly, but I have nothing to comment on it really. But I would not have done it any better.”
One of the cool things about World Series by Renault is the Red Bull F1 demos that get put on during the weekend in-between the races. Both Felix da Costa and Formula Renault 3.5 championship leader Oliver Rowland drove the car last weekend, replacing David Coulthard who normally does the demo runs.
“Its really cool, we did it already yesterday and you know if there is a track you can really push a racecar to the limit, its Silverstone with all the Maggots and Beckets sequence and all the high speed corners its just impressive,” said Felix da Costa. “This really brings your body to a limit, especially with all these cars that have a bit more downforce so its really, really cool and I had so much fun yesterday and I look forward to doing it again today, hopefully we get some new tyres on the car and maybe bang in a lap time.”
Many believed last year that Felix da Costa was robbed of a seat in F1 for this season, however its not something that keeps him awake as he focuses on winning more DTM races.
“I don’t wake up every morning thinking about Formula 1. I really wake up every morning now thinking about how can I become a better DTM driver because its already so hard to become complete there, and the guys with 10 and 15 years experience, they really get an edge over you with that, so its really important to try and learn a lot.”
“I think where you make the big progress is in-between races, when you try an analyse what you can do better so, I don’t spend too much time thinking about Formula 1. I enjoy spending my time here and going to the F1 races as a reserve driver and doing the job in the simulator to help the team out on track. But you know thats a secondary job at the moment and my focus is on DTM.”
As for Formula E, Felix da Costa hopes to be racing in season two with a team after contesting some rounds with the Amlin Aguri team and even winning at Buenos Aries.