Antonio Felix da Costa is sure that good results in the final Formula Renault 3.5 series rounds of the season are the key to securing a Formula 1 drive with Toro Rosso.
The 22-year-old is among the favorites to take the seat vacated by Daniel Ricciardo, but has had a troubled season in FR3.5, with several small problems taking their toll and leaving him fifth in the standings, 68 points adrift of championship leader Kevin Magnussen.
“Now we know the chance is officially there and it’s all relying on my World Series results,” he said.”It doesn’t affect my focus. It’s extra pressure, but maybe we need to take that and turn it into positive pressure.
“I can’t think, ‘People are always talking about F1, what if I don’t make it?’ The way I have to think is that if people are speaking about me going to F1, it’s because I am a good driver. I know that if I have a great end to the season the spot will come. That’s the way we have to look at it.”
Da Costa, who has just one win to his name so far this season, accepts that Red Bull wants to see him to live up to high expectations to prove he is worthy of promotion. He wants to ensure that his results do the talking rather than having to make excuses, even if they are justified.
“At the end of the day, the bosses want results not explanations,” he said. It’s my job to fix the problems and to give them the results so they have the reasons to promote me. They know what is going on and they are giving me and everyone around me a hard time, but that is how it should be and I respect that.
“If we cannot take the pressure now, then why would we be able to handle fighting for a world championship in F1?”