Da Costa confirms he won’t race in IndyCar with RLL in ’22

Antonio Felix da Costa has confirmed he’s “90 percent sure” he won’t race an IndyCar in 2022, and Rahal Letterman Lanigan co-owner Bobby Rahal has expressed his regret that the Portuguese ace couldn’t be won over.

Da Costa confirms he won’t race in IndyCar with RLL in ’22

Da Costa won multiple races in Formula 3, GP3, Formula Renault 3.5 and Formula E (winning the 2019-20 championship in the latter category) and has also scored LMP2 victories in the FIA World Endurance Championship, and triumphed in DTM and Stock Car Brasil.

Last November, he made his IndyCar debut in a test for Rahal Letterman Lanigan at Barber Motorsports Park, and finished the day 12th fastest out of 21, despite having no prior knowledge of car or track, and being the only driver testing for the team that day, and therefore not having a driver with whom to pool data.

Rahal and the RLL team as a whole were highly impressed, remained in contact with da Costa and his manager – ex-IndyCar and ex-F1 driver Tiago Monteiro – and were hopeful of attracting da Costa full-time.

However, both parties have now confirmed to Motorsport.com that such a deal is not happening, at least for 2022.

“I will not be racing IndyCar next year,” said da Costa, “or at least if there's still something on the table, I'm 90 percent sure that I will not be racing IndyCar next year.

“Definitely not with Bobby's team, which I have to thank a lot for giving me the test and then they really pursued the opportunity to have been in a full-time car next year.

“But unfortunately things did not work out between us, mainly because of timing, to be honest. They wanted an answer in the time where I could not provide one, and unfortunately, they had to move in a different direction.

“It's something that at least with Bobby, it will not happen for next year.”

Rahal told Motorsport.com that he would remain interested in hiring Da Costa in the future.

“Obviously he’s very good, isn’t he?” said Rahal, who as a driver won three Indy car championships and the Indy 500. “But I think he’s got opportunities in Europe, and not necessarily in Formula E, that are interesting to him.

“And I think if you’ve done one particular series for a while, you’re always looking for something different, and maybe something that’s also better than what you have already.

“I think IndyCar is definitely interesting to him but it’s one of a few series that interest him, and he has opportunities because his track record speaks for itself. He’s a sought-after driver by several teams in several series and with good reason.

“So yes, I’m disappointed that we couldn’t put something together with him. He did a good test for us at Barber, he’s a very personable young man – he just basically checks off all the boxes of what a team owner is looking for in a driver, right?

“But you never know: maybe some day we can put a deal together.

“In the meantime, we have to move forward and look to the immediate future with our team and explore other options, which is why we’re running Christian Lundgaard in the #45 this weekend. I’m very interested to see how he does.”

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