Formula 1

Red Bull to keep Antonio Felix da Costa as junior

Helmut Marko with Christian Horner, orchestrating all things Red Bull (©GettyImages)
Helmut Marko with Christian Horner, orchestrating all things Red Bull (©GettyImages).

Red Bull junior team member, Antonio Felix da Costa will continue to be supported by the energy drink company, according to their advisor Helmut Marko.

Portuguese driver, Da Costa was expected to be promoted to the Toro Rosso Formula One team for the 2014 season, replacing Daniel Ricciardo who has taken Mark Webber's vacant seat at Red Bull.

But instead the drive was given to 19-year-old Russian Daniil Kvyat.

Da Costa, who last year raced in the Formula Renault 3.5 series with Arden, finished third in the overall standing, 102 points adrift of championship winner, Kevin Magnussen. But Marko told Autosport that he will still be supported.

"It's not over, it's open. We are working on a programme for him. We want him with Red Bull as a simulator, test and show car driver. We are looking for a drive which does not clash with grands prix"  Marko explained.

The Red Bull junior team has a great reputation for bringing through talented drivers, including current four-time Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel. And the support from the academy is priceless in today's competitive driver market.

Felix da Costa, 22, revealed his displeasure at the decision to promote Kvyat ahead of him, but is grateful never the less.

He told Autosport "I'm disappointed and sad at not being the one who was picked for the F1 seat, but I have to thank Helmut and Red Bull.

"They have helped bring my name to where we are now, and if you asked me two years ago if I thought I would be coming so close to an F1 seat I would not have believed you.

"What I want to make sure is that if there is 0.01 per cent chance of getting anything in F1 with Red Bull then I'm top of their list."

Red Bull have however dropped 18-year-old female driver, Beitske Visser from the team. 

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