Red Bull Racing test driver Antonio Felix da Costa is refusing to become too downbeat despite going through a difficult period in his career in the German DTM championship.
Da Costa had been one of the brightest junior drivers on Red Bull’s books, and was widely expected to race for either Scuderia Toro Rosso or Red Bull Racing at some point in F1.
However, he was surpassed in the pecking order by Daniil Kvyat, Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr., and although the 23-year-old remains a part of the Red Bull team as one of its test drivers, other series have now become his focus.
Da Costa picked up his first win in the FIA Formula E championship at the Buenos Aires ePrix last month, but his maiden campaign in the DTM championship (Germany’s premier touring car series) saw him score just six points across the course of the year.
In an interview with Red Bull Motorsports, da Costa said that he is taking strength from his struggles in the GP3 Series from a few years ago to know that he can battle through this rough patch and find his feet in DTM.
“I was in GP3 in 2011 and for the first time my team-mate was beating me and he was beating me by a mile,” da Costa explained. “It was my Dad who came to me and motivated me to change and improve and fight, and I ended up winning races.
“Now I’m having a tough time in the DTM. I’m not getting the results, but I know how to drive and I keep pushing so the results will come, eventually.”
Da Costa was asked what the biggest challenge he has faced in racing has been, and said that his rejection for the available seat at Toro Rosso in 2013 was a tough pill to swallow.
“A hard moment was when I was told I wouldn’t go to F1 at the end of 2013,” da Costa said. “For a month, I lost my motivation but then I went to Macau and was second, after winning in 2012.
“That brought me back. Then I did the DTM test and found it to be a great discipline, with a lot of highly professional people.”
Da Costa’s next race will come in the Formula E championship at the Miami ePrix, set to take place in one month’s time.