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Antonio Felix da Costa parts company with Red Bull

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DTM and Formula E driver Antonio Felix da Costa has parted company with Red Bull following four years of association.

Da Costa first joined the Red Bull Junior Team in 2012 following a journeyman junior career that saw him win the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC title in 2010, test a Formula 1 car with Force India and also race in GP3, Formula 3 and at the prestigious Macau Grand Prix.

The Portuguese racer was the favorite to win the GP3 title in 2012 but could only finish third in the standings, before finishing third again after moving into Formula Renault 3.5 for 2013.

Da Costa had been expected to make the step up to Red Bull’s F1 B-team, Toro Rosso, after a series of impressive tests, but missed out on a seat for 2014 to Daniil Kvyat after the Russian won the GP3 title. He continued to work as Red Bull’s reserve driver in F1 nevertheless.

As the likes of Carlos Sainz Jr. and Max Verstappen leapfrogged their way up the Red Bull junior ranks, da Costa turned his attention to DTM and Formula E, winning the latter’s event in Buenos Aires last year.

However, as of 2016, he will no longer enjoy backing from Red Bull, announcing on Twitter and Instagram that he has split with the team following four years of partnership.

“I won’t cry because its finished, I’m super happy that it has ever happened! After four amazing years together with this F1 World Champion team it’s now time to say goodbye to this stage of my career and fully focus on my DTM Duties with BMW and Formula E!” da Costa wrote on Instagram.

“I drove all the world champion cars and this is something I would have never done without the support of Dr. Helmut Marko. Thanks everyone in Milton Keynes! See you when I see you!”

Da Costa’s next race comes in one week’s time in Uruguay at the Punta del Este ePrix where he will race for Team Aguri.

Sergio Perez still has coronavirus; will miss second consecutive F1 race

F1 Sergio Perez out
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SILVERSTONE, England — Sergio Perez will be out for a second F1 race at Silverstone this week after again testing positive for the coronavirus.

The Mexican driver had hoped to return to Formula One after spending seven days in quarantine, but his Racing Point team said this morning he had tested positive.

“He is physically well and recovering,” the team said. “The whole team wishes Sergio and his family well and we look forward to his return.”

That means German veteran Nico Hulkenberg again fills in for Sunday’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix after having also replaced Sergio Perez when he was out for the F1 British Grand Prix at the same venue last week. Hulkenberg did not start that race because of an engine problem.

There are two consecutive weekends of racing at Silverstone as Formula One tries to pack in races following the pandemic-delayed start to the season.

Perez became the first Formula One driver to test positive for coronavirus, and it had been unclear whether he would be available to drive after the period of quarantine was extended to 10 days.

Racing Point also was in the news Friday after being hit with a 15-point penalty in the Formula One constructors’ championship and fined 400,000 euros ($470,000) Friday for using brake ducts based on those from last year’s Mercedes cars.

The stewards ruled that Mercedes was the “principal designer” of the parts, and that Racing Point made only minor changes to computer design data it received from Mercedes.

Rival team Renault filed protests about the legality of the brake ducts, which were added to the “listed parts” under F1 rules for 2020. That means teams must design their own. Racing Point argued it was merely using information about the Mercedes parts to inform its own design.

Racing Point uses customer engines from Mercedes and has admitted basing its 2020 car design on photographs of last year’s Mercedes car. The similarities led to the Racing Point being nicknamed the “pink Mercedes” when it was first seen in testing ahead of the season.

Racing Point can appeal the ruling. The points deduction drops the team from fifth to sixth in the standings, below Renault. The ruling doesn’t affect the points totals for Racing Point’s drivers.