Antonio Felix da Costa closing on championship lead Antonio Felix da Costa was in top form once again in the Formula Renault Northern European Cup. The Portuguese driver scored two more podium finishes and reduced the difference to the ...
Antonio Felix da Costa closing on championship lead
Antonio Felix da Costa was in top form once again in the Formula Renault Northern European Cup. The Portuguese driver scored two more podium finishes and reduced the difference to the championship leader, Valtteri Bottas, to just 14 points.
In an exciting qualifying session, which started under wet conditions but saw the track dry out towards the end, Antonio secured the 3rd spot on the grid for both races.
In the first race, and after a good start, Antonio moved up one place but in the second corner the driver he was fighting with recovered his position in a risky move. The Motopark Academy driver, thinking about the championship situation, opted not to take any unnecessary risks and let him through. Antonio was 3rd when five laps from the end race leader Valtteri Bottas crashed out of the race. The Portuguese set his sights on a potential victory and upped his pace. In the remaining laps he closed up to the new leader and put him under intense pressure but did not have the possibility to pass him.
In the second race, held in treacherous conditions, Felix da Costa had a bad start, stalling his engine and dropping to 14th place. The driver from Cascais put on two very strong laps, and was 8th after the first lap and 5th and the end of the second lap. Halfway through the race, and when he was in 4th place, Antonio comes under attack from Valtteri Bottas, who also had a bad start and had been moving up the field. The young Portuguese driver defended his position for three laps and forced the current championship leader into a mistake that put him out of the race. With no-one behind him, Antonio decided to increase the pressure on the 3rd placed driver who ended up spinning on the final lap, giving him an important 3rd place, his 9th podium of the season.
"This was a positive weekend for us, but I feel I could have done better because I had the chance to fight for victory in both races. The 40 points I gained on Bottas made the championship wide open again and give me hope of fighting for a victory I have been chasing for a long time. The second race was really tough, I did my best and the 3rd place was a great reward for that effort. That's why I feel like a racing driver and also why I love this sport!", concluded the young Portuguese driver.
The Formula Renault NEC moves to the Nurburgring in Germany in two weeks. The 7th and penultimate round of the championship will be held together with the World Series by Renault.