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BMW WEC/Formula E Balance a “Perfect Scenario” for Da Costa

Antonio Felix da Costa aiming to balance WEC, Formula E next year…

Photo: FIA Formula E

BMW factory driver Antonio Felix da Costa is hopeful of balancing commitments in the FIA World Endurance Championship and Formula E in 2018 with the German marque, but is yet to finalize any plans for next season.

The former Red Bull junior joined up with BMW in DTM in 2014 before leaving the series at the end of last year to focus on his efforts in Formula E, where he races for the MS Amlin Andretti team.

Da Costa has also been playing a part in developing the new BMW M8 GTE ahead of its entry to the GTE-Pro class of the WEC in 2018, and hopes to be able to be part of its driver lineup, possible thanks to the avoidance of date clashes with Formula E.

“Obviously BMW announced back in December last year that I was one of their development drivers for the new WEC car,” da Costa told Sportscar365.

“Unfortunately I could not be in the first test, but I’m testing in August for the first time with the car, so getting that process started as well.

“I’ve been doing well with the GT stuff and the endurance racing. Obviously that would be the perfect program for me to be in the two championships.

“They’ve agreed not to have any clashes, so a perfect scenario. Let’s see if we can pull it off.”

Andretti’s Formula E team will evolve into BMW’s factory operation in 2018, with da Costa already in position to lead its efforts.

“The plan has been there for a long time. I’ve been a big part of it,” da Costa said.

“Obviously it’s still a bit of time away. We have to race all of season four, and then finally get that started.

“Nothing’s been said on drivers, but hopefully the goal is for me to stay there as a driver obviously, being a BMW factory driver and them coming in as a BMW factory team.

“That’s obviously the goal, and if we can make that happen, it makes all the wait and the work worth it.”

The Portuguese driver tried earlier this year to secure an LMP2 drive for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a bid to aid his preparation for a possible WEC debut next year, but was unable to find a seat.

Nevertheless, da Costa has played a big part in BMW’s GT racing efforts recently, making his Nürburgring 24 debut earlier this year.

BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt admitted having da Costa contest both series is an option.

“We have to see to avoid clashes in calendars but I think at the end of the day, Antonio has shown that he can manage both,” Marquardt said.

“He was super quick on the Nordschleife and he’s been super quick in every car that you put him in. He still is one of the quickest guys in Formula E.”

John Dagys contributed to this report

Luke Smith is a British motorsport journalist who has served as NBC Sports’ lead Formula 1 writer since 2013, as well as working on its online sports car coverage.

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