Season review pt 10: Antonio Felix da Costa

When Team Aguri made the decision to stick with the Season 1 powertrain package for Season 2, the chances of Antonio Felix da Costa replicating his race-winning heroics of the inaugural championship were diminished.

But while there was a clear performance disadvantage to the teams and manufacturers who had developed a new powertrain, there were occasions where the blue, orange and white cars could mix it at the front, although the results never quite matched the performances.

“Ups and downs mainly, that’s what’s probably the best explanation of our season," da Costa reflects. "It was my second season of Formula E and it was the second season that I had no winter testing at all. It’s always been very, very on the edge for me to get a seat and last year was the same as year one. I went straight into the first season 2 race after missing the last one of the season 1, so I didn’t drive the car for a lot of time and the team was going through some big changes. There were new owners in the team and so everything was happening at once and we were just getting on with everything as we went through."

Despite not getting to spray the Mumm podium champagne, da Costa put in a number of strong performances, proving that season 1 package was still capable of matching the season 2 technology.

“It was obvious that we had a very good speed considering we had season 1 package and power unit. With all that in mind getting into three or four Super Poles and getting a pole position is very good. We were running second when the car stopped (in Buenos Aires) so we did miss and throw away a lot of strong opportunities. We never really finalised a big result. We never had the podiums, which is a big shame considering the speed and potential we had.

“There were a lot of other guys who were a lot slower than us that got podiums, so I think frustration is also another word to add. At the same time I’m very grateful to come into the season at such late notice and the team gave me a chance to race and we’ve done good things together and it’s put me in a very good place for season 3. I think almost every team came and contacted me to see if I was available and have me as their driver, so for that I give thanks for the chance I had to race at all."

The highlight of Team Aguri’s season proved to be da Costa’s stunning pole position lap in Long Beach. Unfortunately a tyre pressure infringement stripped him of his position. “I think the Super Pole and the pole position in Long Beach was the best moment. It then got taken away from us due to one of the four tyres being something like 0.05 under pressure, so we were disqualified for that. I think that it is a rule which is unclear and will change for next year but somehow we were the first ones that were caught up with it. To grab a pole position with a season 1 package when most of the teams have millions of dollars to develop new power units... We were extracting the most from what we had and that lap felt very nice!”

Having impressed for Team Aguri in Formula E’s first two seasons, da Costa is already looking forward to proving himself against the front runners in season 3. He said: “I believe if I get the right tools we can put together a real crack at the championship. For season 3 I am hoping that soon we can announce everything and I’m pretty confident we are sorting out some good tools to do that and have a proper go at it. That’s all I want – a chance to fight these guys and then we’ll see where we end up."

Antonio Felix da Costa

Starts: 9

Championship position: 13th

Points: 28

Wins: 0 (best finish: 6th)

Poles: 0 (best qualifying: 3rd)

Fastest laps: 0

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