Antonio Felix da Costa says his sights are firmly set on an F1 drive in 2014
Portuguese driver completed 82 laps for Red Bull on Wednesday
By William Esler at Silverstone. Last Updated: 17/07/13 6:37pm
Antonio Felix da Costa says his sights are firmly set on F1 in 2014 after getting a full day of running for Red Bull at Silverstone.
The 21-year-old is widely regarded as the hot young talent in motorsport and has already served as the World Champions' reserve driver in China and Canada this year.
"I don't hide it - my goal is to be in Formula 1 next season, but this will only happen if I do a good job in World Series," he said.
"So the goal at the moment is to focus on World Series. We need to raise our game there - things are ok but not magical - so we need to win a few races and maybe we will see if this step happens or not."
A change of plans at Silverstone saw Daniel Ricciardo's outing in the RB9 pushed back until Thursday, meaning da Costa spent the entire session at the wheel, completing 82 laps.
"It is good," he added. "The plans changed a bit with all these new things coming in so it is great to have a full day and then the morning tomorrow, so a day-and-a-half, and then I go straight to my World Series race this weekend when I have practice on Friday. So it is going to be a busy week."
But whilst he enjoyed his second test outing for the World Champions, the Portuguese driver was under no illusions as to the importance of the running.
"Obviously it is not the first time for me so everything was a bit more familiar," da Costa said.
"I think it was an important test for the team as getting running in the middle of the season is really, really important and obviously the tyres are changing for the next race so we have to make sure we are on top of that and try to understand some of the new parts that are coming in. My job is just to drive consistently and not make mistakes and help the team as best as I can.
"A test like this - I know it is a called a Young Driver Test - but a test in the middle of the season is really important for the team and we have to help the team as much as possible. But at the end of the day, I am putting myself in a World Champion team and possibly car at the end of the year."
Should Ricciardo replace Mark Webber at Red Bull next season it would open up a vacancy at Toro Rosso and da Costa feels it would be good for one of the junior drivers to step up to the senior team.
"Like I said, I don't hide that the goal is to be in F1 next year, but this will only happen if we have a good end to the season in World Series," he said.
"I think it would be good to have a junior driver step into Red Bull as I think that is what the junior team is all about."