Antonio Felix da Costa joins Andretti for third Formula E season

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MS Amlin Andretti has confirmed the signing of Antonio Felix da Costa for the third season of FIA Formula E, due to start in Hong Kong on October 9.

Da Costa raced for Team Aguri in the first two seasons of Formula E, winning the inaugural Buenos Aires ePrix in January 2015 and finishing the last campaign 13th in the drivers’ championship despite racing with a season one powertrain.

Da Costa confirmed over the London ePrix weekend that he would be leaving Team Aguri at the end of the season, with the rebranding Techeetah operation partnering Jean-Eric Vergne with Ma Qinghua for season three.

On Wednesday, Andretti confirmed that da Costa would be joining for the new season, partnering Robin Frijns.

“To join Andretti Formula E is a big thing for me. I have always loved the way Americans go racing, and how they do sports in general,” da Costa said.

“I’m a big fan of IndyCar and, to me, Andretti Autosport has always been an iconic team. To finally be able to say that I’m joining and racing for this amazing team and family is a big deal.

“We have a great team in place, the MS Amlin car looks good and the people around me are super professional. I’m ready to get the season started.”

“We’re very excited to have Antonio join the team for season three,” Andretti team owner Michael Andretti added.

“I feel adding him is going to give us one of the strongest driver line-ups in the field. We’ve been watching Antonio over the last two seasons and I feel he has been very impressive on the racetrack.

“It will be great to be racing with him, instead of against him.”

Da Costa has already conducted testing with Andretti using its new in-house powertrain for season three, and will also work alongside Frijns at Donington Park over the six days of collective testing coming up.

Da Costa has previously expressed an interest in trying out IndyCar, and this move may open up a door for him to race in the United States in the future.

Frijns enjoyed his first test with Andretti at Mid-Ohio last month, lapping just a couple of tenths slower than full-time driver Ryan Hunter-Reay.

For now though, da Costa’s focus will be on hitting the ground running in season three and mounting a title bid for the American team.

His arrival is thought to link in with a future tie-up for BMW and Andretti, the former currently fielding da Costa in DTM.

The move does however leave Simona de Silvestro without a seat, although her departure from Andretti’s Formula E operation had been expected after a difficult campaign that yielded just two points finishes.

Michael Andretti told NBC Sports that it was possible that de Silvestro would remain within the Andretti racing setup in some shape or form, but it remains to be seen whether a role comes to fruition.