Rain and wrong strategy stopped Felix da Costa to fight for top 10 In the F3 Masters at Zandvoort
Last weekend, with a presence of more than sixty thousand spectators Antonio Felix da Costa took part in his first F3 Masters in Zandvoort, the event that brings together the top drivers of the various Formula 3 Championships around Europe. The young Portuguese driver,in his first year of this discipline , quickly got to grips on this demanding and prestigious track and recorded the 5th best time during the first free practice session.
He then continued his progression while lapping constantly in the top ten during the next two free sessions and concluded qualifying in 11th place on the starting grid, a result he wasn't completely satisfied with. "We are still facing problems with ideal set up for the car not finding the best compromise in qualifying trim although we were ahead of some drivers with more experience and P11 was not that bad to start a long race that was full of pitfalls," Felix da Costa commented.
The Motopark Academy rockie had a strong start enabled him to make it into P6 in the first few laps but the weather conditions, that saw a downpour soak the circuit prior to the start given behind the safety car, did not allow him to exploit his entire potential. Forced to pit twice to change tyres, Antonio suffered from a inconsistence strategy from his box that was not really adapted to the conditions and dropped to 18th place as final result.
"I gained several positions in the first two laps and I was well placed at the beginning of the race but my team engineer decided to call me to change from slick to rain tyres when the guys in the front were already adapted to track conditions. Unfortunately, that happened exactly when the track started to dry and I had to come back to the pits a few laps after for another switch back to slicks. Conditions were tricky and it was a bit of a lottery. Jean-Eric Vergne was my benchmark and he ended the race in P4 which shows we had the potential to do a lot better. I left Zandvvoort in two minds: the potential was there, but I'm frustrated with the result. However we have to keep in mind that team are closing the gap and I hope I will be better prepared to show it in the next F3 Euro Series journey."
The next round of the F3 Euro Series Championship will take place on the Norisring circuit from July 2.