António, you’re about to contest the 100th Formula E race of your career. Do you remember your first race?
António Félix da Costa: “Of course. It was in November 2014 in Putrajaya, Malaysia. It was fascinating but super hard. Especially because it was very hot in the car and physically demanding. I still scored points and we had a good weekend but I remember being super tired at the end. I also contested DTM that year so there were a few clashes. I wasn’t able to contest the first Formula E race in Beijing, so my first event was the second race in Formula E history.”
And your first victory?
da Costa: “Luckily I didn’t have to wait long. I won in Buenos Aires in January 2015. It was the fourth race of season 1.”
Which win was your favourite?
da Costa: “I have good memories of all of my achievements. The two victories in Berlin were particularly special because we contested six races in nine days due to the lockdown. That was in 2020, the year I secured the championship with a 71-point advantage.”
You once mentioned that you didn’t really believe in Formula E at first. What convinced you in the end
da Costa: “Formula 1 was my dream. I had a foot in the door as a test driver for Red Bull Racing. The thought of competing in a fully electric racing series seemed kind of crazy. To be honest, I wasn’t in the best state of mind at that time. But I quickly got on board with Formula E. I became increasingly aware of the mission and the possibilities of Formula E in a changing world. For me, it was and still is an exciting challenge to demonstrate on the racetrack that electric cars are not boring, but are quick and efficient. It didn’t take me long to realise that this series has a bright future.”
How correct were you with your assessment?
da Costa: “I was spot on. It’s incredible to see how far Formula E has come. That also applies to the tracks, the drivers, the teams and the fans. I can honestly say today that joining Formula E was the best sporting decision of my life. I’ve won races and the championship title. It’s cool to see how the acceptance of Formula E has grown season by season around the world. It’s fantastic to see how far we’ve come in only nine years. I wasn’t expecting the series to work this well so quickly. I’m very happy with how it’s evolved.”
Formula E brings thrilling motorsport to people living in major cities. What other messages can it convey?
da Costa: “Obviously, motorsport is in the foreground. But I think that in countries like India or South Africa, we shouldn’t limit ourselves solely to getting people excited about motor racing. Formula E stands for so much more, for instance, for sustainability and important social values like inclusion and diversity. We should use the opportunity to raise and strengthen awareness among the people who come to watch us at the racetrack.”
What are your thoughts on the importance of Formula E in worldwide motorsport?
da Costa: “A lot has happened in this regard in recent years. The mere fact that Formula E is now a world championship and that a successful automobile manufacturer like Porsche is committed to this series underlines its importance.”
You joined Porsche as a works driver this season. What does this mean to you?
da Costa: “I’ve always wanted to race for the brand and be a part of Porsche history. I’ve been beaten by a Porsche many times in my career, and not only in Formula E, so I know that Porsche does everything to win. It’s in the brand’s DNA. The great start to the season with three victories for the Porsche 99X Electric is confirmation of this. I’m working very hard with my engineers to understand what steps we need to take to be successful – preferably at my 100th race. That would fit perfectly.”