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WEC Bahrain

Da Costa stands down from WEC to focus on Porsche Formula E campaign

Antonio Felix da Costa will stand down from the World Endurance Championship after five seasons to concentrate on his Formula E campaign with Porsche in 2024.

Antonio Felix da Costa, Porsche

The Portuguese driver will not continue with the Jota Porsche Hypercar squad next season at the request of his employer in Formula E.

Da Costa, FE champion in 2019/20 with DS Techeetah and LMP2 WEC champion with Jota in 2022, admitted sadness that he will not be able to continue to race for the British team alongside his Porsche commitments.

“I am a little bit sad, but I understand why people higher up than me have decided this,” he said.

“Porsche has given me the opportunity to race its car in FE, so if I have to make this compromise, I will.

“But the name of my profession is racing driver, so in my eyes I should be racing every weekend.”

Da Costa, 32, suggested that he had no problems undertaking a double programme, something he has done since 2014 when he dovetailed racing in FE for the Aguri team with a DTM campaign driving for the BMW MTEK squad.

“I know myself better than anyone else, and I think I manage my fitness and fatigue levels well,” he explained.

“I have never missed a race in my career.”

Antonio Felix da Costa, Porsche, Porsche 99X Electric Gen3

Photo by: Malcolm Griffiths / Motorsport Images

Antonio Felix da Costa, Porsche, Porsche 99X Electric Gen3

Da Costa revealed that he had a deal in place to continue with Jota in one of the two Porsche 963 LMDhs it plans to run in the WEC next year.

The team would have allowed him to miss the Spa round in May, which clashes with the Berlin FE race, he said.

He didn’t rule out returning to the WEC for a one-off at the Le Mans 24 Hours next year.

“I have had a lot of calls about Le Mans and I wouldn’t say no, but I haven’t gone back to Porsche about that,” he said.

Da Costa stressed that he expects to return to the WEC full time at some point in the future.

“For sure I will be back: I have been on the podium in GTE Pro and won the championship in P2, and I want to do that in the top class,” he said.

“That’s why I am sad, because this year I’d moved up into the top class and I am now not going to get that chance next year.”

#38 Hertz Team Jota Porsche 963: Antonio Felix da Costa, Yifei Ye, Will Stevens

Photo by: Porsche

#38 Hertz Team Jota Porsche 963: Antonio Felix da Costa, Yifei Ye, Will Stevens

Da Costa first raced in the WEC as a BMW factory driver with the German manufacturer’s M8 GTE in 2018/19, before moving into the prototype ranks with Jota the following season.

His LMP2 career with Jota peaked last year with the class title and victory at Le Mans alongside Will Stevens and Roberto Gonzalez before the team’s move up to Hypercar from this year’s Spa round in April.

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He is racing its solo 963 alongside Will Stevens and Yifei Ye.

Porsche’s decision leaves a gap in the Jota’s line-up for next year, which could have included some star signings.

The team has admitted that it is in talks with Formula 1 world champions Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button, as well as Robert Kubica.

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