Formula E champion Da Costa still battling Vergne’s competitiveness

Formula E champion Antonio Felix Da Costa is always kept on his toes by team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne.

The Techeetah driver pipped ex-F1 star Vergne to the title last year – and insists that the Frenchman is now more hungry than ever.

Vergne is the only double champion in FE history but has found himself battling to be No.1 in his own team over the past two seasons, never mind battling for No.1 in the standings.

But Da Costa insists that their relationship is healthy as Vergne’s competitiveness drives them both on.

“JEV is an amazing driver and and amazing athlete,” Da Costa said. “He is so competitive in anything that we do, whether it be going for a run, if we are on the simulator, if we are on track.

Da Costa stands alongside Vergne in the Techeetah garage

“That has both good things and bad things, because we can’t win every day. I am very much like him, to be honest.

“I am always smiling and having a good time, but when the helmet is on, I hate losing and I am also here to win.

“Sometimes our interests clash because we both want the same place on track and that does not physically work, but we have learned now to work with each other and push each other. Things are pretty good between us and the team at the moment.

“We’re pushing each other, we’re pushing the team and things are going well.

“He’s a big lion and when you put a piece of meat in front of him, he is going to go and attack it.”

Da Costa heads into this weekend’s London E-Prix with his eye on the title once more, as he currently sits second behind Britain’s Sam Bird.

But only 37 points separate the top 15 drivers with four races left, meaning it is still anyone’s title.

“I am a competitive athlete who hates losing, so I am here to win,” Da Costa said.

Will Da Costa win the Formula E title for a second time this year? Let us know in the comments section.

The Techeetah car has long been one of the most impressive on the grid
The Techeetah car has long been one of the most impressive on the grid

It is not like I have won this once and I can just be a part of this championship going forward and whatever happens, happens. I still push myself to win races and to win the championship.

“I have won this championship once but now I have to show people that I can do it again.

“A lot of mental work goes on before I get into the car and that pushes me to perform.”

Da Costa enters the London race expecting a difficult weekend, as he will be in the first qualifying group – and he believes that will be the most important session of the day.

His Techeetah team-mate Vergne is also in the first qualifying group.

He said: “I think the track looks amazing for one lap performance. To drive this track is a lot of fun. It is very, very technical. You are going to have to take so much risk if you are going to take a little bit of extra lap time.

Da Costa celebrates becoming the season six champion

“But I think to race here will be tough. The track is tight so there won’t be a lot of overtaking opportunities. I think qualifying is going to be very dominant.

“It is a shame because we do want to see overtakes and passes, but on the other hand, qualifying is going to be the most important session of the day.

“Energy management won’t be so hard on this track, so I am forecasting a difficult weekend for us, being in group one in qualifying. Let’s see what the track evolution is. It is the first time we are racing indoor-outdoor, so potentially we will see, but if the track evolution is big then I am forecasting a difficult weekend for us.

“Normally even when we qualify at the back, we do have the car where we can come through the field but it is going to be a little bit harder to do that here. Let’s see, we are still hungry and are going to give it our best.”

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