António Felix da Costa was “a happy boy” after he won the Macau Grand Prix for the second time. The Portuguese driver burst into tears at the podium, when he was being cheered by Portuguese fans. He admitted that yesterday’s victory closes his participation in the F3 race, although he hopes to return to Macau “many times.”
– How does it feel to win your second GP?
António Félix da Costa (AFC) – I think it feels better [than the first]. I’m not meant to be here, I’m not meant to race an F3 car […] none of this really makes sense. It was a super late call. I only did two days of testing and we came here with a car without a single sponsor. I was called up to come here and [the team owners] said they would try to find a sponsor and I said: ‘It doesn’t matter. I love this race and I love this car and this track. Forget it; I’ll come and do it.’ I was pretty [relaxed] this whole weekend, until today, when I thought, ‘Okay, I need to do it.’ […] I’ve been through a rough season, attracting bad things all year. [… So] to win here and close the year is amazing.
What about becoming the second Portuguese winner of the day after Tiago Monteiro?
AFC – This was the only time of the month when I put pressure on myself to do it. I woke up with a different feeling [than the other days] and Tiago made my life super hard because he won. My [father] called me last night and said: ‘If the two of you win, it would be an historical [victory].’ [Da Costa gestures to represent the pressure that put on him to win.] I’ve said all week that if I come away in the top five it would be amazing – and it would be! But today I knew that I had to do it.
How did the Safety Car help cement your win?
AFC – I was super impressed with Sérgio [Sette Câmara]. When I saw him in front of me, I thought: ‘No way. He will be hard to catch.’ During the first two laps he just [shot] away. […] Then I settled into a nice rhythm and closed the gap, and just when I got into that range to overtake [him], the Safety Car came out. […]
It was a bit strange because I think that the Safety Car was a bit out of [synchronization] with the Race Control, because [the car] switched the lights off very late and that probably didn’t give Sérgio enough room to make the perfect restart and I was close enough to make the pass.