Antonio Felix da Costa should be the man preparing for his first F1 season not Daniil Kvyat, says Brazilian GP2 driver Luiz Razia.
Razia, who nearly joined the F1 grid himself in 2013 after signing for Marussia before running into sponsorship issues, believes his good friend Da Costa was in a stronger position to make the step up to F1 after finishing third in Formula Renault 3.5 last season.
“The strange thing is not the fact that he (Kvyat) is coming from GP3,” he explained to reporters, “a driver can demonstrate his talent in many categories.
“What I’m saying it that there is a loss of momentum,” said Razia. “Antonio won a third of the races he contested in the World Series.
"The Arden team is good, but it had some problems in this season, but even so, he finished the championship third,” he added.
Indeed it is believed Da Costa’s failure to capture the Formula Renault 3.5 championship was a key part of the decision to promote the current GP3 champion Kvyat straight to Toro Rosso replacing the Red Bull-bound Daniel Ricciardo.
Razia believes there was more to it than that, however: “I’m the devil’s advocate because I’m Antonio’s friend, but I think he was in a much stronger position (to debut in F1).
“But we all know that is not all — it is very clear that next year there is a race in Russia, and F1 needs a Russian.
“(F1) is a very political category, and Kvyat is even sponsored by a Russian bank. Toro Rosso has difficulties, as everyone does, so it was a situation where everything fell into place for him,” he added.
In 2014, the young Portuguese Da Costa will race in DTM as well as sharing testing duties at both Red Bull F1 teams with Sebastien Buemi.
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