Rising Portuguese star António Félix da Costa has signed to race with Status Grand Prix in the GP3 Series this year.The 19-year-old comes to the Formula One™ support series full time in 2011 having competed in two events last year, and has chosen to join Silverstone-based team Status GP for his title challenge.
Félix da Costa performed strongly with three wins in the Euroseries Formula 3 championship in 2010, and now joins fellow ex-F3 ace Alexander Sims at Status GP, which finished second in the both the GP3 Drivers’ and Teams’ Championships last year.
Félix da Costa had his first taste of GP3 last year when he competed in the Hungaroring and Spa events with Carlin, qualifying in the Top 10 on both occasions. The Lisbon-born driver then shone in post-season testing by topping the time sheets at both Estoril and Jerez, before impressing in his first Formula One™ test with the Force India team at Abu Dhabi in November.
“António is a very impressive young driver, with a combination of maturity and speed that makes him a definite title contender,” said Status GP team principal Teddy Yip. “We’re delighted he’s joining our team.”
“I am very happy to take part in the GP3 Series this season and I know that Status GP will be the right team to help me to fight for podiums and for the championship title,” said Félix da Costa.
Félix da Costa is a former runner-up in the world karting championships, before stepping into car racing to win the 2009 North European Formula Renault championship. He was also the rookie driver for A1 Team Portugal in 2009, the same year that Status GP won the A1GP World Cup with its A1 Team Ireland entry.
Status GP team manager Simon Cayzer added: “Having António alongside Alexander gives us the foundations of a very strong GP3 driver line-up, and the team is looking forward to working with them both.”
The 2011 GP3 Series will be run over 16 races at eight F1 Grands Prix across Europe. The season will commence at Paul Ricard HTTT on March 3-4 with the first of three pre-season official tests.