Antonio Felix da Costa proving a certain doctor wrong
A rich run of form in the first two Berlin rounds see's Antonio Felix da Costa make it three in a row. Is a certain doctor rueing his past decisions?
Rounds 6 and 7 have just finished up, the sun is setting here in Berlin and one thing is evidently clear. When Red Bull had an abundance of options to fill their F1 seats, they were perhaps a bit too flippant about one guy. Now a matured driver, Antonio Felix da Costa is a driver 'in the zone' and perhaps after his 3 on the bounce can only be matched in the world of motorsport by Lewis Hamilton at this moment.
In a series that's fairly 'stock' in terms of chassis and power trains being mostly evenly matched, the fact that he's gone on an unbeaten run of 3 and before then following it up with two second place finishes, shows his brute talent.
Round 7 saw him taking FULL points, 30 to be precise.
With his teammate and reigning double champion Jean-Eric Vergne having a little bit of a nightmarish season, da Costa's relentless pace and mojo seem to be driving JEV a little stir crazy. Understandably so, it's almost a Vettel vs. Leclerc situation from 2019 Ferrari LOL's. While JEV is an immensely good driver, also underrated by his former energy drinks based employers, it's clear that right now that his teammate is in a class of his own.
What I'd love to see in the remaining Berlin races is a few battles between da Costa and Vergne, worthy of the pandemic hit season. What's insane right now is that Antonio sits 68 points clear of 2nd place Lucas di Grassi, such has been the up and down luck experienced by the rest of the field. Only one driver has managed consistency and that's Antonio.
Many drivers in the early rounds seemed like they could finally break through this season, drivers such as Vandoorne, Alex Sims and Sam Bird, but post-Diriyah it has not even been a debate, there is one driver in the field in a class of his own. Now, the nature of Formula E could mean he goes on a run of poor races and loses the title by a single point, but going on current evidence, likely he will pick up the results he needs and seal the deal.
Famous last words?
Let's see, I think it's more than possible he picks up a couple of podiums and the mixed nature of the top 10 in each race could by default give him an early title win. A 120 points remain up for grabs if a driver is to maximise the next 4 races and give da Costa a run in for the title. As it happens, that looks very unlikely.
Excited to see the remaining races!
What of Dr. Helmut Marko though? For a while, I've had the thought that he's holding Red Bull back a little. It's almost as if Red Bull has this arrogance with drivers who'd be more than good enough to compete in their machinery, so much so that they find themselves in their current predicament.
A once promising academy that churned out a lot of recognisable names in motorsport, some who have even competed multiple races in F1 for their sister team Toro Alpha Whatsit. With the void left by Daniel Ricciardo since he departed for Renault, the unfair treatment of both Gasly and Albon has shone a light onto perhaps their outdated methods, if we can call it that.
Formula E has given a lifeline to those who once graced the Red Bull driver academy or their young drivers programs. JEV, Buemi and da Costa are all very competitive and have shown their race craft in other motorsports to be top notch. All accomplished drivers in their own right. With the season da Costa is having, you'd wonder how he'd do in that erratic second Red Bull car.
One can only hope Red Bull get a bit of a wake up call and freshen up their recruiting and nurturing departments, because what they are doing right now and the amount of pressure being piled on every driver in that second car is pretty stale. Not every driver who graces a Red Bull will be Sebastian Vettel or Max Verstappen, but you could also nurture some drivers into race winners and into let's say a 'Valteri Bottas'. The drivers running the show in Formula E prove that.
Red Bull were synonymous with youth, energy and a "we do it different" attitude. Right now, that's looking as stale as last Thurday's toast you forgot you left under the bed. Some fresh ideas need to happen there ...or the worst possible thing for them, "patience". Otherwise, we could be looking at Gasly and Albon lifting multiple Formula E titles as opposed to maturing into great F1 drivers, which they both could be.
Anyway, that's my Helmut Marco semi-rant over. ✌️