Porsche Motorsport have instructed António Félix da Costa to “concentrate” entirely on Formula E for 2024, explaining why he’s departing Hertz Team JOTA in the FIA World Endurance Championship after this weekend.

Da Costa will hit the pause button on his WEC career after this weekend’s 8 Hours of Bahrain, which will be his last for the Porsche customer team in the Hypercar class. It’s as a result of the German manufacturer wanting him to prioritise his Formula E duties for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team, in their pursuit of the season 10 crown.

The Portuguese driver has always competed in multiple categories each season, something which has been possible over the years due to Formula E’s and WEC’s calendars often not clashing. That’s unfortunately not the case for 2024, as multiple clashes are scheduled.

Porsche FE are keen to avoid losing a driver for any round, given the impact it could have on the championship. This wouldn’t have been an issue during the Gen2 era when Porsche were very much a sleeping giant; however, they’ve awoken with intent since Gen3 was introduced.

The Stuttgart-based squad have one of the leading powertrains on the grid and one of the best overall packages, as proven last season. Porsche led the Teams’ Championship for the bulk of season nine, only to lose it towards the closing stages.

This was mostly due to their disappointing one-lap pace, which cost them in qualifying and left Da Costa and Pascal Wehrlein with too much work to do. Da Costa isn’t likely to be the only driver forced to drop out of the 2024 WEC to focus on Formula E, something he’s a “little bit sad” about.

Whilst the season six Formula E Champion is disappointed to have been told he won’t be racing in the WEC next year, he completely understands why the Porsche bosses have made the tough call.

“I am a little bit sad, but I understand why people higher up than me have decided this,” Da Costa said, as reported by Autosport.

“Porsche has given me the opportunity to race its car in FE, so if I have to make this compromise, I will. But the name of my profession is racing driver, so in my eyes I should be racing every weekend.”

Da Costa was the second-fastest driver during the recent pre-season test – Credit: Simon Galloway courtesy of FIA Formula E

Based on last week’s pre-season test, Porsche are looking very good ahead of the January season-opener in Mexico City. Da Costa ended the test in Valencia second on the timesheets, suggesting that the team’s one-lap pace woes might have been solved. If this is the case, then this will massively increase the side’s chances.

Porsche deciding to pull Da Costa out of their WEC customer team shows just how seriously the German manufacturer are taking Formula E’s centurion campaign. According to Sportscar365, neither Da Costa or Wehrlein can compete elsewhere during next season.

This would rule Da Costa out of a one-off appearance in the WEC next year at the Le Mans 24 Hours.

With Porsche’s Formula E customer team Andretti having walked away with the Drivers’ Championship last season, courtesy of Jake Dennis, the Germans know exactly what their powertrain is capable of.

Porsche are hungry for the 2024 Formula E crown and are doing everything in their power to give themselves as good a chance as possible, with Head of Porsche Motorsport Thomas Laudenbach noting that they want Da Costa and Wehrlein “to focus 100 percent” on the all-electric series.

“I think we made it very clear,’” Laudenbach told Sportscar365, when asked if Da Costa could make a one-off 2024 WEC appearance at Le Mans.

“Throughout the Formula E season, we want him to concentrate on one thing. If the Formula E season stops before Le Mans, we can talk about it,” he added. “Again, to explain it, Antonio is a great racing driver and a great guy. I love this man.

“But again, this is professional racing and the only thing that counts is results, in the end. At least, for the upcoming season, we want to go down the route that gives both drivers the possibility to focus 100 percent on the main job. That’s it.

“That’s a decision for next year, and then we’ll see.”

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