Q&A with Formula E driver – António Félix da Costa

You are currently viewing Q&A with Formula E driver – António Félix da Costa
  • Post published:February 24, 2023

PUMA sat down with TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E driver António Félix da Costa for a Q&A session ahead of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship which makes its debut in the Mother City on Saturday 25 February.

Da Costa and Wehrlein, who race for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team, entertained the public and members of the media at the temporary PUMA Pit Stop store in Loop Street, Cape Town.

The celebrations included interviews, shirt signings and Wehrlein being interviewed by TV presenter Julia Stuart as he drove up to the spectacular viewing point on Signal Hill in an all-electric Porsche Taycan Turbo S.

What are the strengths of this Porsche 99X Electric Gen3?
The strength is definitely the race efficiency. The power train enables us to gain a lot of positions during the race. But we are still big believers we can make this car fast in one lap qualifying, so are working hard to make it an all-rounder.

Your strengths as a driver and as a contributor to the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team?
I have a combined 20 plus years in motorsport which includes nine years in Formula E, winning a championship and a few races. So I try to use that experience to guide the team in the right direction.

What are the main attractions as a driver in Formula E?
We make races happen where nobody else can. We race mostly in city centres, so we bring the races to the people. We are also sustainable, so there is a big message behind the series not just a motor sport race. Brands use this championships to develop their power trains and their technology. So we are pushing the world forward in terms of electric mobility.

How much input do you provide in terms of setting up the car?
There is a lot of tech in Formula E, including the data, the telemetry. But as a driver you can sometimes hide or disguise what the car is doing by driving around a problem, so the engineers always want the driver’s feedback.

Tell us about Formula E and its unique 1v1 qualifying?
The duels in qualifying were implemented last year. An amazing concept with 1-on-1 racing determining the grid for the start of the race. The fans like it and we as drivers really enjoy it. It is a big challenge to get out of the box and nail that one fast lap. But super fun.

In qualifying do you want the team to keep you updated on the other driver?
In the duels even if the other driver makes a mistake you don’t want to know. You just focus on doing your best lap possible.

Cape Town is making its Formula E debut, tell us what it is like to race a new circuit?
Racing a new track is always so exciting. We have the track loaded into the simulator so we had three days in the sim to get to know the layout of the track. But it is hard to race a new circuit as we have no idea what the tarmac is like, bumpy or not. It’s not like Rome or Berlin where we have been racing for a few years now and know exactly what the car needs to be quick there.

Tell us about your PUMA racing kit?
PUMA is probably the best in the market. Both for the quality and for their flexibility when it comes to the unique needs of the athlete. The flexibility of the brand and their personnel have around the athlete is a big plus, if you need something changed, a different type of glove, a different type of boot, stretch materials added here and there. We were able to fully configure this suit to our liking in terms of fitting and that is a big help for us.

What sparked your desire to become a racing driver?
I was very lucky because I was born into it. When I was 2-years-old, two of my older brothers were racing go-karts in Portugal. One day my eldest brother took me out and I have never stopped. Becoming an athlete, going through wins and losses, provides you with the opportunity to develop different strengths and capabilities. I love racing and can’t imagine not being a sports person.

Who has better football skills – you or Pascal and who is the better surfer?
Football it will be close, maybe I will give it to him. Surfing, I think I’ve got him covered. Can he even swim? Ha! Ha!