Pressure is on Da Costa to earn Ricciardo’s seat


Antonio Felix da Costa has a golden opportunity to win a place in Formula One next year following Daniel Ricciardo’s move to Red Bull.

Ricciado’s promotion leaves a vacancy at Toro Rosso which Da Costa is first in line to fill. But he says he needs to keep doing well in the Formula Renault 3.5 series to earn his place.

“Now we know the chance is officially there and it’s all relying on my [Formula Renault 3.5] results,” he told Autosport.

Da Costa ran an unusual dual campaign in two junior championships last year. He finished third in GP3 following a car problem in the final round at Monza. He also made an eye-catching debut in Formula Renault 3.5 part-way through the season, finishing fourth despite missing five races.

He has had some misfortunes this year and four no-scores have left him languishing in the points standings. “At the end of the day, the bosses want results not explanations,” he added.

“It’s my job to fix the problems and to give them the results so they have the reasons to promote me.”

Da Costa was one of four drivers tested by Red Bull and Toro Rosso at Silverstone earlier this year, along with Carlos Sainz Jnr, Daniil Kvyat and Johnny Cecotto Jnr. The latter is not part of their driver development programme and the other two do not have as much experience as Da Costa.