Wednesday, October 24 2012
Red Bull F1 test driver Antonio Felix da Costa and Lotus F1 reserve racer Kevin Korjus will join the F3 Cup grid to add to the spice for the season finale this weekend.
The rising single seater stars, both aiming to break into Formula One, are warming up for the prestigious Macau Grand Prix F3 race on 15-18 November. GP3 title contender da Costa has joined up with the renowned Carlin outfit while Korjus is driving for British F3 stalwarts Double R Racing. The pair will run to F3 Cup rules on tyres, ride height and fuel, although they will compete in an invitation class as the championship caters for cars built from 1980-2007.
Portuguese racer da Costa, who is part of the same Red Bull young driver programme that helped produce two-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel, finished third in this year's GP3 championship. This week he recieved a call up to the Red Bull Racing F1 team to test the latest car in the F1 Young Drivers test in Abu Dhabi. The 21-year-old heads to Snetterton in a rich run of from after picking up an impressive double win at the final round of the Formula Renault 3.5 Championship in Barcelona last weekend. In order to sanction his place on the grid at Macau, he will pilot a Dallara-Volkswagen F308 campaigned by Jazeman Jaafar in the 2011 British F3 Championship.
Antonio is already on the radar of the F1 paddock after competing in the Young Drivers test for Force India at Abu Dhabi in 2010, where he lapped a second quicker than teams's current driver Paul Di Resta. With proven pace in single seaters, he could be one to watch today and for the future.
Fellow Formula Renault 3.5 racer Korjus from
Estonia will certainly be hoping to challenge da Costa in the
Incitation class this afternoon after a strong season. The
19-year-old is the youngest driver to win a race in Formula Renault
3.5 and has also tasted victory at Monaco. Like da Costa, the 2010
Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 champion also boasts F1 experience with
Lotus and was the team's reserve driver for this year's Italian
Grand Prix, proving he is a young gun to keep an eye on.
This weekend he will drive the Dallara-Mugen Honda raced by Duvashen Padayachee in this year's British F3 National Class.
Da Costa and Korjus are the latest rising stars to join the F3 Cup grid, following in the footsteps of British F3 stars Alex Lynn and Jay Bridger, who joined the championship at Spa and Silverstone GP respectively.
The F3 Cup is set for a three way title showdown at the Norfolk circuit with Chris Dittmann, Tristan Cliffe and Gino Ussi all going head-to-head to decide the inaugural F3 Cup champion. Dittmann holds a 25.5 point lead from Cliffe with just two races of the season remaining.
However, with the significance of this meeting, both teams have pledged not to upset the title battle. Double R boss Anthony 'Boyo' Hieatt told Autosport: "We've promised not to interfere with anything."
To follow their progress look out for da Costa in car 13 and Korjus in the number 18 machine.
Drivers and teams interested in joining the 2013 F3 Cup should contact championship co-ordinator Simon Davey on 07770 368648, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For all the latest news and further announcements visit www.f3cup.co.uk. Follow F3 Cup on twitter at www.twitter.com/f3cup.