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Da Costa: Pay drivers can't cut it in Formula E

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Da Costa: Pay drivers can't cut it in Formula E
By:
Sep 13, 2016, 3:26 PM

Antonio Felix da Costa says the quality of the field is the biggest draw for the all-electric Formula E championship, and insists pay drivers do not prosper in the series.

Antonio Felix da Costa, Amlin Andretti Formula E Team and Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing
Helmet of Antonio Felix da Costa, Amlin Andretti Formula E Team
Antonio Felix da Costa, Amlin Andretti Formula E Team
Race winner Antonio Felix da Costa, Amlin Aguri
Robin Frijns, Andretti Autosport
Robin Frijns, Amlin Andretti
Robin Frijns, Amlin Andretti Formula E Team
Robin Frijns, Amlin Andretti Formula E Team
Antonio Felix da Costa, Amlin Andretti Formula E Team

The Portuguese driver has been part of the series since its inception, and won the Buenos Aires ePrix back in 2015.

"It's quite impressive how big [the series] has become in such a short period of time. I think to thank for that, we have the quality of drivers in the paddock, it's super-big," da Costa told Motorsport.com.

"Some drivers, pay drivers, tried to join the series, but it's a series that, at the moment, a pay driver cannot be masked with money. You need the talent there to be quick - the cars are super-hard to drive, tracks are super-hard to drive.

"It's not like GP2, where you go to Abu Dhabi and you can get away with not being so talented because you have a lot of margin for mistakes. Not in Formula E.

"At the moment, most of us being professional drivers, it's a super good thing for the series, it gives a lot of credibility - I think it has to stay that way for as long as possible, and like that, we attract the right kind of fans.

"All the locations we go to, it's pretty impressive what we achieved, very happy to be a part of it."

"Healthy rivalry" with Frijns

Having raced for Team Aguri for the first two Formula E seasons, da Costa has signed with Andretti for the third campaign, partnering Robin Frijns.

"The goal is for us to push each other," said da Costa of his new teammate. "I believe he'll be stronger in some areas, I believe I'll be stronger in other areas. But there is one thing that we both have which is massive fair play.

"I've had other teammates in the past that, when I beat them, they just stop talking to me. And I believe with Robin, the day I beat him or he beats me, we'll be: 'Good job, mate, you did a better lap' and then the challenge goes on.

"I think it'll be a very healthy rivalry and we both want the same goal, looking forward."

Prior to Formula E, da Costa raced against Frijns in Formula 3.5 in 2012, where the former  took four wins in part-time campaign and the latter became champion.

"2012 in World Series was certainly like that, and even this year in Formula E," da Costa said.

"We were always challenging each other because we had the same car, a season one car. Looking forward to finally being in the same team, with the same tools."

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About this article

Series Formula E
Drivers Antonio Felix da Costa , Robin Frijns
Author Valentin Khorounzhiy