Antonio Felix da Costa has taken the Formula E Season 6 title with two races to go, after a spectacularly dominant run over the first four of six races at the Berlin Tempelhof circuit.
After teammate Jean-Eric Vergne was offered – and rejected – a Formula 1 contract last season following his own title win, Da Costa confirmed he too would also reject an approach, and that he felt happier to be in Formula E.
The newly crowned Formula E champion is automatically eligible for an F1 super license, though this route to F1 has never been used and it seems a slightly anomalous criteria given Formula E isn’t a junior series and is theoretically on-par with F1. In the first years of the championship though, there were definitely plenty of drivers in the Formula E field who hoped to make it there or return to other series.
Da Costa, like Vergne, was part of the Red Bull Junior Programme and narrowly missed out on a 2014 Toro Rosso seat – alongside his now-teammate – to Daniil Kvyat. Having gone through the drop, followed by several seasons in a desperately uncompetitive Andretti Formula E car that he pointed out had seen him lapped on this circuit by the people he stood alongside on the podium today, Da Costa said he was happy where he is now.
Asked in a post-race press conference if he’d consider an F1 offer now, Da Costa said it was no longer for him; “I don’t think it’s real. I’ve had my time there where I was very very close to have a seat, and it’s not for me anymore. There’s young kids coming through the ranks and it’s for them.
“I’m so happy with where I am and this championship – you know, I’ve never had as much fun as I’ve had here in this championship with these guys. When we put our helmets on we want to murder each other but when they are off, we party so hard and there’s a great atmosphere.
“So I respect that a lot and I have a lot of fun and I understood that there is more to life than Formula 1. I think this guy here [JEV] can relate. He’s felt it much harder than I have, and you almost forget to have fun and to understand why we do this you know? Formula E really shows us why we do this, so yeah.”
Da Costa secured his title, alongside a second Formula E teams’ championship for team DS Techeetah, with two races to go – the biggest margin ever in the series. It’s his second career championship win, his most recent being the Formula Renault 2.0 in 2009.