Antonio Felix da Costa believes the axis of himself and Jean-Eric Vergne at the DS Techeetah team will be built on mutual trust and respect.
Da Costa was announced as Vergne’s teammate yesterday, having made the switch from BMW i Andretti Motorsport and taking the seat previously held by Andre Lotterer.
The pair started out as rivals in the Formula Renault Eurocup series in 2008 and 2009, and in the latter year finished on the same points in second and third after they were both beaten to the title by Albert Costa.
But besides a one-off at the 2010 Macau Grand Prix, da Costa and Vergne then didn’t race against each other again until the 2014-15 Formula E season after Vergne’s three seasons of Formula 1 with Toro Rosso ended.
The pair almost became F1 teammates for the 2014 season when Daniel Ricciardo moved on to Red Bull Racing, but da Costa was overlooked for the role in favor of Daniil Kvyat.
“I could easily have been JEV’s teammate in F1 but now we will be together in Formula E,” da Costa told e-racing365.
“JEV is obviously a central key to how Techeetah works because when something needs to be said he says it and if you have the right people around you and they want as much as you to win then you can take it.”
Da Costa described his new teammate as being “brutally honest” in knowing what he wants from a team and how he goes about being successful within Formula E.
“This is something I really like and I am looking forward to working alongside him. JEV is brutally honest, he is not arrogant,” explained the Portuguese driver.
“We will have a lot of respect for each other and we have a powerful team behind us so I think it will be a great partnership.
Da Costa believes that his and Vergne’s similar age and experience will ensure there are no intra-team conflicts as they embark on the 2019-20 season with the defending champion team.
“It requires very mature actions from both of us because one day he will beat me and another day I will beat him so it takes a big man to deal with it,” he explained.
“But I have done that with Robin [Frijns] and with Alex [Sims]. When I got beaten by them I say ‘you know what man, you drove better today so well done.’
“We will have a lot of respect for each other and we have a powerful team behind us so I think it will be a great partnership.”