Antonio Felix Da Costa has said that he was hurt at Scuderia Toro Rosso’s decision to choose 19 Year Old Daniil Kvyat as Daniel Ricciardo’s replacement for the 2014 Formula One Season , but insisted that the setback will not deter him from breaking into the sport.
Upon news that Ricciardo was to move to Red Bull Racing for 2014, the Portuguese driver was favourited as his replacement. But in a shock announcement yesterday, Toro Rosso confirmed Russian GP3 and Formula Renault graduate Daniil Kvyat as teammate to Jean Eric Vergne for next season.
“This is a story that nobody in Portugal wanted to hear,” said Da Costa in a statement, “but Red Bull opted for Daniil Kvyat for Toro Rosso in 2014 and [my] objective of entering Formula One was not yet reached.”
“I believe I am ready to step up but decision is made, it hurts but it’s time to face it and think about the best possibilities. I will keep working together with Red Bull to get into F1 and soon I will announce my 2014 program.
“Right now I am sad, as many Portuguese will be, but I learned that in life nothing is guaranteed and I will continue to work hard to get to F1, in conjunction with Red Bull and all the framework that accompanies me here several years ago.”
“I wish all the best to Daniil, hoping he will be a good successor of Daniel Ricciardo.”
Da Costa had his first taste of Formula One back in 2010, when he tested with Force India in the Young Driver test in Abu Dhabi. He subsequently tested with Red Bull Racing this July during the Young Driver test at Silverstone.
Da Costa said he was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from fans around the world since the announcement went public.
“It only remains for me to thank all the amazing support I have received in the last few hours,” said Da Costa. “I feel that the Portuguese are frustrated, but continue to believe because my road to Formula One does not end here! ”
Da Costa finished 3rd in the Driver Championship in the World Series by Renault 3.5 this year with Arden Caterham, scoring 172 points and earning three wins and three podium finishes in the season.