Antonio Felix da Costa has said that he will not contest the Macau Grand Prix again after taking his second win in the event.
Da Costa added to his win with Carlin in 2012 by returning with the same team for his second triumph last weekend. But the 25-year-old Portuguese will not emulate 2016 runner-up Felix Rosenqvist in bidding for a third victory in Formula 3’s blue ribband race.
In an interview with the South China Morning Post, the BMW factory driver said: “I’m not coming back.
“This is not for me – this is for the rookies and the guys who want to go to Formula 1. I’m not going to Formula 1 anymore so this is my last in the F3 car – next year I’ll come back and race with the old boys in the GTs.”
Da Costa added that his Macau victory represents the completion of a late-season turnaround after a frustrating 2016.
He finished 17th in his third and final season in the DTM with BMW, but ended the campaign with two pole positions in the final round at Hockenheim.
He has also enjoyed a promising start to the 2016-17 Formula E season after switching from Team Aguri to Andretti, and lies seventh in the points after two rounds.
“It’s been a rough season, attracting bad things all year, but the last three months have been good,” said da Costa.
“I was on pole in the DTM, the Formula E has been good and now to win in Macau is amazing.”
Da Costa said that, if anything, the win feels even better than his maiden Macau triumph.
“I wasn’t supposed to come here, I wasn’t supposed to race an F3 car – none of it made sense,” said da Costa. “It was a super-late call, and we only got two days of testing.
“We came here with a car with no sponsor, and Trevor [Carlin, team boss] said he’d try to find a sponsor for me so he could pay me.
“But I said, ‘It doesn’t matter, I love this race, I love this car and I’ll do it.'”
SETTE CAMARA IMPRESSES
Da Costa also paid tribute to his teammate Sergio Sette Camara, who led the race early on and finished third.
“I have to say I was super-impressed with Sergio the whole weekend,” he added. “I think he’s been the quickest of the team most of the event, and when I saw him in front I thought, ‘No way can I catch him.’
“He was so quick for the first two laps, but then I got into a nice rhythm and closed the gap.
“Then the decision to end the safety car came late, and that didn’t give him the room he needed to make a perfect restart.”