After missing out on the vacant seat at Toro Rosso, Antonio Felix Da Costa has been named as Red Bull’s test and reserve driver for 2014, alongside Sebastian Buemi.
The Portugese Red Bull Junior driver was overlooked for the seat made vacant by Daniel Ricciardo’s move to Red Bull, with Russian GP3 Champion Danii Kyvat being favoured by Helmut Marko.
Red Bull clearly still regard Da Costa very highly as he sat in as reserve driver during the 2013 season at races that clashed with Buemi’s World Endurance Championship events, and has also completed two Young Driver tests for the team.
This increased role for the World Series by Renault competitor will see him complete further Young Driver tests and much of the in-season testing that has been derestricted for 2014.
Da Costa has been confirmed as a driver in BMW’s DTM campaign in the last few days; a change in career path for a driver that was hotly tipped to be in Formula One in 2014.
For Buemi, who raced for Toro Rosso in 2010 and 2011 before switching to endurance racing for Toyota, this announcement is a continuation of his previous role but will have more significance due to the lift on testing restrictions.
“It’s great to be able to announce the signing of Sébastien and António for 2014,” said Red Bull Team Principal, Christian Horner. “Next year sees the biggest change to the Formula One regulations for some time and the return of multiple in-season tests. To therefore be able to call on two such capable drivers is of huge benefit to the team.
“In Sébastien we have a great resource, a driver with extensive grand prix experience and that will be invaluable. António, on the other hand, is an up-and-coming talent with whom we already have a good working relationship. I’m sure that his contribution will be just as important during what is sure to be an intensely busy season.”