GETTING READY FOR SEASON 10 WITH ANTÓNIO FÉLIX DA COSTA
We've recently returned from the official pre-season test at Valencia’s Circuit Ricardo Tormo, where all 22 drivers from the Season 10 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship grid hit the track for the first time.
In what was a highly competitive week full of excitement and discovery, the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team’s António Félix da Costa impressed with some seriously fast lap times, clocking in the week’s third fastest lap with an astonishingly quick 1:24:617 – less than two tenths off the top spot.
Amidst all the action, we found time to check in with the former Formula E world champion on how he’s feeling ahead of Season 10 and reflect on his key learnings from the 2022/23 season.
So, António, let’s begin! Has last season impacted the way you’ve prepared for this coming season?
António: “Yes, absolutely – it’s always a learning curve. It wasn’t an easy adaptation process, learning a new car, learning a completely new group of people, new ways of doing things, of going racing. That took a bit of time to get on top of. I feel much more ready in this pre-season, and the environment in the team is way more natural to me. Things are definitely different...and better!”
When you look back on last season, what were your most memorable moments?
António: “The win in Cape Town is memorable, but I also normally like taking some of the bad moments as well; those are important to remember. We had challenging moments but that only made us stronger and helped us to get some really good results. Berlin where we came from the back of the grid up to fourth before we got hit was a great one, the same in Monaco; it’s so hard to overtake in Monaco and when we came back up to fifth before we got the puncture, it was fantastic. However, I think the highlight was London, coming from eighteenth to finish second on track. That was one of my best races.”
What personal lessons did you take away from Season 9?
António: “Mostly specific, technical elements relating to the car itself; how to drive the car and the tire, how to fully understand every aspect of the technology we have in our 99X Electric. Even just understanding what’s behind the software is helping me to speed up on the track for Season 10.”
How’s pre-season prep so far?
António: “Yeah, good. As I said, everything is happening in a much more natural way [than last season]. Knowing all the mechanics, all the engineers, all the team – it’s proving very beneficial for my performance.”
We had challenging moments but that only made us stronger and helped us to get some really good results.
And Valencia’s great fun right?
António: “Valencia’s great fun. I enjoy coming here, it’s become a tradition now. It means the season start is close and you finally get to compare lap times to everybody else and finally see your competition out on track.”
What Season 10 changes are you most excited for?
António: [Thinking intently] “I think the Attack Charge, which we’ll now be able to use for pit stops in Formula E. It’ll also showcase to the world that electric mobility is growing; these cars are really attractive and charging them
Finally, what do you hope to achieve in the coming season?
António: “Simple... I want to win the championship.”
The 2023/24 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship kicks off in Mexico City at the glorious Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on 13 January, where the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team will look to build on the momentum gained from their best-ever season finish in Season 9.
Until then, stay up to date on everything TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E right here with the Porsche Motorsport Hub.