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Formula E Champion Antonio Felix da Costa Tests IndyCar Seat

Illustration for article titled Formula E Champion Antonio Felix da Costa Tests IndyCar Seat
Photo: Sam Bloxham (Getty Images)

Reigning FIA Formula E champion Antonio Felix da Costa has been fitted for an IndyCar seat with the Rahal Letterman Lanigan team ahead of a single-day test on November 2, 2020 at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama. While it doesn’t mean da Costa is actually moving to the IndyCar series next year, it does bode well for a cross-series swap.

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In the RLL press release, da Costa sounded positive about his opportunity.

I have never hidden the fact that it’s a big dream of mine to come try out an Indy car. I am a big fan of how America, and IndyCar in particular, goes about the sport and have been a huge fan for many years. I have known Bobby for a few years. We always met at the BMW Christmas dinners and every year I kept saying ‘Come on, let me have a go’ and finally now I got the call to come meet the team and test. It’s very exciting times for me and something I have been looking forward to a lot. The first contact with the team has been very positive and everyone has been friendly. I can see there is a high level of professionalism in the team which was to be expected. I’m excited to get on track.

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The main reason that da Costa is able to take advantage of this seat time is because Graham Rahal will be unable to take advantage of the test. He and wife Courtney Force are waiting on their first child, which is due around the time of the November test.

da Costa has been racing since he was nine years old, and ahead of the most recent Formula E season, he joined up with the championship-winning DS Techeetah team. He won three races in a row and took three second places, which offset his non-points finish and disqualification. He’s been with FE since the very start of the series. He’s a Macau Grand Prix champion and a DTM competitor with BMW.

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

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DISCUSSION

Some people might say “why aren’t we giving Indycar tests to young American talent”.

Fuck them. Not the young American drivers mind you, but that whole conversation. Between Alonso coming over to race the 500 (and struggling, but showing promise initially), Rossi winning his rookie outing after getting knocked out of F1 (still mind blowing that win), and some over the hill F1 drop (err, crash) out from Japan (TAKUUUUUUU!!!) now being a two time winner... to say nothing of a Busch recently attempting it, Montoya coming back for it, and JJ now coming at it... Indycar is POISED to be...

Not CART. Shut the F up about that already ok?!

No, it seems like it’s poised to be an open wheel IROC. Ok FINE, that’s what CART was but please, please, PLEASE can we stop the CART comparisons!?!? Ungh. We’ve had probably the strongest, most exciting rookie field in.... IDK, a decade at least in Indycar and with a number of those drivers being from outside the US.

And then there’s the whole Penske connection/buyout... and the rumours that Ferrari might be joining as a 3rd engine manufacturer....

Exceptionally talented drivers from all the major racing series seem to be turning their eye towards Indycar, where the driver matters more than the car (ahem.. Jack Harvey... go MSR!!) and 70% of the field is covered by 1 second in qualifying and this is a great thing for the series.

DTM, F1, Aussie Supercars, Formula E, NASCAR, USAC, what have you.

Bring it.

Level playing field y’all. Have at it. Go for it.