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Da Costa ‘perfect’ for Andretti’s Formula E team

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Andretti Autosport executive vice-president JF Thormann believes that Antonio Felix da Costa is “perfect” for its Formula E operation ahead of the all-electric series’ third season.

The MS Amlin Andretti team announced over the summer that da Costa would be joining for season three, replacing the Supercars-bound Simona de Silvestro.

Da Costa impressed throughout his stint with Team Aguri, claiming the team’s only victory in Buenos Aires in season one and taking a number of other big results in season two despite using a year-old powertrain.

Like Aguri, Andretti was also unable to run an in-house powertrain for season two, putting it on the same page as da Costa heading into the new campaign that starts in Hong Kong on October 9.

“He’s perfect for us,” Thormann told NBC Sports when asked about da Costa’s arrival at the launch of the New York City ePrix earlier this week.

“From the competitive side, it’s good for that reason. Plus our sponsor, MS Amlin, sponsored him just before.

“He’s very good and astute technically, he’s very good friends with Robin Frijns, good team chemistry.

“I think he’s been a really good find for us.”

With an in-house powertrain now fitted to the car and da Costa on-board, Thormann says there is more optimism at Andretti for season three.

“Certainly quite a bit more. We knew we’d be in trouble last year having to use the season one car,” Thormann said.

“Now we’re back up to speed. We felt in Donington we had slight gremlins but we should be there at Hong Kong.”

Earlier today, BMW confirmed that da Costa would be leaving DTM at the end of the season to focus fully on his commitments in Formula E.

Simona de Silvestro to become Venturi Formula E test driver

Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images
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Simona de Silvestro will become a test driver for the Venturi Formula E team for 2018/2019 season.In addition

De Silvestro previously raced limited events in the series during the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 seasons.

I’m delighted to make my return to Formula E as a test driver for Venturi Formula E Team and I’m grateful to Susie (Wolff, team principal) and Gildo (Pastor, team president) for the opportunity,” de Silvestro said on SpeedCafe.com.

“Since competing in Season 2, I’ve kept a close eye on the Formula E championship and followed its development with interest,” de Silvestro continued. “The arrival of the new Gen2 car represents a huge milestone for the series and I am very happy to be back in an active role at this exciting and important time.”

De Silvestro has raced in Australian Supercars since 2017. She will continue to race in that series with Kelly Racing as she balances her time with Venturi.

The bulk of de Silvestro’s testing will be done in its simulator in Monaco.

“The next 12 months will be really busy for me with both Formula E and my Australian Supercars commitments but I’m ready for the challenge and it’s a joy to be working with such a well connected and committed team as Venturi,” de Silvestro said.

“Simona is a real team player and a driver I was keen to work with,” said team principal Wolff. “She has a very positive attitude and no-nonsense approach to her work which will fit in well with the team.”