Carlos Sainz jr could be the next rookie in line for a Red Bull-powered step into formula one.
But, instead, the Russian teenager Daniil Kvyat was selected from the Red Bull Junior Team, while Portuguese da Costa was appointed a F1 test driver.
Now, in 2014, the leading Red Bull-backed hopeful will be Spanish 19-year-old Carlos Sainz, who shares a name with his famous rallying legend father.
Red Bull has trimmed its Junior Team for this season, with Sainz jr joined only in the programme by new GP3 driver Alex Lynn and Pierre Gasly, a 17-year-old Frenchman.
Sainz senior, the two-time world rally champion, is hoping his son can be the next to step up to F1.
"I know that he has the talent," he told Speed Week. "But that is not enough. To make it to formula one, he will also need a lot of luck."
Sainz jr will contest the full Formula Renault 3.5 series in 2014.