24 Jan 20
17 Sep 19
Antonio Felix da Costa joins Jean-Eric Vergne at newly crowned championship-winning team DS Techeetah following the departure of Andre Lotterer.
Seasoned ABB FIA Formula E driver Antonio Felix da Costa will drive alongside two-time champion Jean-Eric Vergne, completing the team’s driver line up for its 2019/20 campaign. The move follows the Portuguese driver's departure from BMW i Andretti Motorsport after three seasons with the squad.
When Andre Lotterer left the championship-winning Franco-Chinese team earlier this year to join newcomers TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team, the search was on to fill the hottest seat in motorsport.
“Getting the opportunity to join a double championship-winning team in such a highly competitive motorsport category like Formula E is very rare," said da Costa.
"It was a very hard decision to leave my current position but it’s an opportunity I just couldn’t say no to and I’m very excited to join Jean-Eric and everyone at DS Techeetah.”
With a history of driving for Andretti dating back to 2016, da Costa finished 20th in his debut season with the American team, before climbing to 15th at the end of the 2017/18 season. With full BMW backing, the Portuguese driver secured a career-best finish of sixth in his most recent campaign.
Despite finishing the 2018/19 season sixth, da Costa had a promising start, scooping a long-overdue victory in the season opener in Saudi Arabia, followed by three other podium finishes although another outright victory proved elusive.
“It’s fantastic to have Antonio with the team. He’s a good friend to all of us and we’re all looking forward to welcoming him and to see him in the gold and black DS Techeetah colours," said Team Principal Mark Preston.
"He will be a great, and fast, addition to the team and we’re all very excited to see what Jean-Eric and Antonio will deliver on track this coming year.”
Joining reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne, the pressure will be on the 28 year old Portuguese driver as the team looks to clinch its second title in 2020, while Vergne aims to make history with a third personal title in the series.
“I’d like to extend a very warm welcome to Antonio," said Vergne. "We’ve been friends for a long time, and we’ve been part of the same motorsport programme in the past so it’s great to be able to work together again. He will be a great addition to the team.”
Over at BMW i Andretti Motorsport, the German manufacturer team is yet to reveal its second driver after German Max Guenther signed with the team earlier this month.
Despite Sims’ last-minute podium in the final race in New York City, the team has not confirmed that the Englishman will be a part of the team for the next season. After the marque announced it would be ending its World Endurance Car Championship programme - through which both da Costa and Sims graduated from - the team has the opportunity to rethink its approach and driver line up in Formula E. With just months until the double-header season-opener in Saudi Arabia on November 22 and 23, the team will be looking to make a decision in the coming weeks. Watch this space.