Felix da Costa feels “ready” for F1
The Portuguese driver spoke after jumping out of the Red Bull Racing RB9 at the Silverstone Young Driver Test. He spent the whole of Wednesday driving the car and set the third fastest time before returning for Thursday morning. He also tested for the team at last years Abu Dhabi Young Driver Test and has plenty of experience behind the wheel of F1 machinery.
He set some competitive times and had a largely error-free day which impressed the F1 paddock. He handed over the reigns to Daniel Ricciardo for the afternoon and the Aussie is in the running for the second Red Bull seat for 2014. Should the current Toro Rosso driver make the switch, that would leave a seat open at Toro Rosso and Felix da Costa feels ready to drive in F1.
Speaking to reporters he said: “I jumped out of the car after the last run today and I felt to myself, ‘I’m ready. I want this’.” He added that the chance still heavily relies on the rest of his Formula Renault 3.5 season: “But like I said yesterday, it will all come down to the rest of my season in [Formula Renault 3.5]. We have to deserve a place in F1, and I want to deserve it properly.
“The timing is good, and I am in a good position, so I need to do my job properly. But I believe we can do it.”
He feels that he is as ready as he can be for a Formula 1 drive and the next step towards gaining knowledge and experience would be a race seat: “I am as ready as I can be,” he said. “You only know how hard it can be once you have done it once at least.
“By having a few days like this, I feel like I am as ready as I can be. The only time you realise how hard it is, is actually when you do a race.”
His main focus was giving Red Bull data and information on the Pirelli tyres and whilst he admitted that his feedback was limited, he felt that he did a good job overall: “To drive the car for half of the three days is a great chance, and a good sign that I am trusted by the team to carry out the work,” he said. “And that is really good for me. To be working with a world champion team is the best you can have – learning with the best and working with the best.
“For me as a driver I am only gaining. I think in the team we got some good answers, so it is a step forward.”
Felix da Costa currently sits third in the Formula Renault 3.5 standings and finished third in last years GP3 championship.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic
Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his debut in the F1 paddock for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle and RumbleStripNews, as well as running a popular blog.