Felix da Costa looks back on 100 races: "Formula E was the best decision of my life".
At the Hyderabad E-Prix of Formula E in India, Antonio Felix da Costa completed his 100th Formula E race - at the same time his first podium for Porsche. The 2020 champion takes stock after a career of ups and downs. In the interview, he talks about his 2014 debut in Malaysia, his most memorable victories, and the rapid development and future of Formula E.
Antonio, you were still absent from the first race in Beijing, but since then you've been an integral part of Formula E. Do you still remember your first E-Prix?
Of course. That was in Putrajaya in November 2014. It was my first race in Malaysia - very fascinating, but also very exhausting. Especially because of the heat, it really got to you. Nevertheless, we had a good weekend. I finished in the points but was super tired at the end. I wasn't there for the first race in Beijing because I was also competing in the DTM at the same time.
Your first E-Prix victory followed just a little later....
Happily, I didn't have to wait long for that one. I won in Buenos Aires in January 2015. It was the fourth race in season 1.
Overall, you stand at seven wins so far, putting you in 5th place in the "eternal Formula E statistics". Which was your best?
I remember all my successes fondly. Perhaps special were the two wins in Berlin, when we drove six races in nine days because of the lockdown. That was in 2020, the year I won the championship with a 71-point lead.
You've been a Porsche works driver since this season - already your fourth Formula E team in nine years. What does that mean to you?
It has always been my dream to race for Porsche and become part of the history of this brand. I have been beaten by a Porsche so many times in my career, so I know: Porsche will do anything to win. The great start to the season with three wins for the Porsche 99X Electric confirms me in this assessment. For me, the first races didn't go optimally. But we stayed cool. Starting from P13 and finishing third (in India) is fantastic. I have a great team at my side.
You once told me that you didn't really believe in Formula E at first..
My dream was Formula 1, and as a test driver for Red Bull Racing, I already had my foot in the door. The idea of driving in an all-electric racing series was kind of crazy. My state of mind at the time was - to be honest - not the best. But Formula E and I quickly became friends.
What convinced you?
I became more and more aware of the mission and possibilities of Formula E in a changing world. For me, it was and still is an exciting challenge to show on the race track that electric cars are not boring, but fast and efficient. I soon became convinced that this series has a great future.
Your hunch was about to come true.
Totally. It's incredible how positively Formula E has developed. That goes for drivers, teams, tracks and fans. Today, I can say with a clear conscience: going into Formula E was the best decision of my life in terms of sport. I won races and the championship. It was great to see how the acceptance of Formula E all over the world continued to grow from season to season. Where we are now after just nine years is fantastic. I wouldn't have expected things to go so well so quickly.
How do you see Formula E's place in global motorsports?
There has been a lot going on in recent years. The mere fact that Formula E is now a world championship and that such a successful car manufacturer as Porsche is committed to the series underscores its importance.
What is the most important thing for you in Formula E?
Of course, the sport is in the foreground. But I think that, especially in countries like India or South Africa, we should not limit ourselves to getting people excited about car racing. Formula E stands for so much more. For sustainability, for example, but also for important social goals like inclusion and diversity. We should use all our opportunities to awaken and strengthen awareness of these values among the people who come to our race track.