Da Costa: Formula E strong enough to rebound from manufacturer exodus

DS Techeetah driver Antonio Felix da Costa is confident that Formula E will be able to rebound from the recent exodus of manufacturers dealing it a “punch in the face”.

Antonio Felix Da Costa, DS Techeetah, DS E-Tense FE21, Stoffel Vandoorne, Mercedes-Benz EQ, EQ Silver Arrow 02, Alex Lynn, Mahindra Racing, M7Electro

Germany's 'big three' luxury car manufacturers Audi, BMW and Mercedes all announced their decisions to depart the series in the last 12 months, causing onlookers to question both the relevance and return of investment offered by Formula E.

Audi and BMW departed after the final round of the 2020/21 season in Berlin, while Mercedes will follow suit at the end of next season despite winning both the drivers' and constructors' titles this year.

But 2019/20 champion da Costa says he's "not worried" about the future of Formula E, saying he has enough confidence in the current management structure led by CEO Jamie Executive to mount a strong comeback when the new Gen-3 cars arrive for 2022/23.

"Obviously, it's not a positive thing for the series, but all the championships have cycles," da Costa told Autosport.

"I know that Formula E has enough power, enough name, enough reputation, enough talent to get a hit, a punch in the face like this and stand back up. So I'm not worried. 

"We do have the right guys around us. the organisation, Alberto [Longo], Alejandro [Agag], Liberty, Jamie Reigle, to make sure that they put the championship back and rebound by signing up some new manufacturers and looking for the next big thing. 

"We already have Attack Mode, we have Fanboost, the new generation love this and I'm sure we are going to keep on innovating."

Antonio Felix Da Costa, DS Techeetah

Antonio Felix Da Costa, DS Techeetah

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Since its inception in 2014, Formula E hasn't hesitated from trying radical concepts that have often alienated traditionalist motorsport fans. 

But da Costa is of the opinion that FE must continue to chase new audiences and try to remain on top of other major trends such as cryptocurrency and virtual reality.

"I think Formula E fans will eventually not be the same as Formula 1 fans," he said.

"So we do need to target the new generations, to the future of the sport, the future of the fans.

"We see where the world is going with blockchain, NFTs, metaverse, and Formula E is clearly ahead of everything in that respect."

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