Da Costa maybe a missed opportunity for Red Bull in F1 - Horner

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Red Bull boss Christian Horner admits never promoting Antonio Felix da Costa to Formula 1 may have been a missed opportunity.

This weekend F1 returns to Portugal, where the current Formula E champion is from, and there had been initial rumours Da Costa could make a one-off appearance at Portimao.

Ultimately, nothing came of those reports but speaking earlier this month, Horner included Antonio when commenting on the raft of talent that came through the company's stable in the early 2010s.

“I think the great thing is that Red Bull has given this opportunity to so many guys out there, whether it was Jean-Eric Vergne, da Costa, Sebastien Buemi," he said via F1i.com

"All drivers that wouldn’t have had that opportunity if it weren’t for Red Bull’s support and patronage in their earlier career days."

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Some were critical of Red Bull for their ruthless nature in dropping those drivers, with all three going on to become Formula E champions.

However, while Vergne and Buemi both had their chance at Toro Rosso, Da Costa did not as Daniil Kvyat was instead promoted after becoming GP3 champion in 2013.

“I don’t think there’s any real regrets, the cream always rises to the top," Horner said on letting them go.

"Maybe it would have been interesting to see what Da Costa could have done in a Formula 1 car," he acknowledged. "But that opportunity never really presented itself."

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Da Costa eventually left the Red Bull program at the end of 2015.