Motorsport is expanding far beyond its birth place of Europe to areas of South America and Asia. Their financial strength, relative to their European counterparts, ensures that lucrative sponsorship and endorsement deals can be completed. Brazil too has a Motorsport legacy as classic as the sport itself and now it claim another emerging talent as its own.
As the future of his namesake and compatriot, Felipe Massa, hangs in the balance, the sport needs a great driver ready to take to the Formula 1 tarmac.
Step forward, Felipe Nasr.
Nasr began karting aged just seven, inspired by his great hero, the late Ayrton Senna. Something about Felipe reminds me of his idol – his driving style is similar in places and possesses a level of consistency many drivers twice his age could only dream of.
Felipe Nasr’s driving does all the talking and, at 21, he can only get better from here. 2013’s GP2 season is one of the most competitive in the championship’s history bringing with it, a new wave of young and promising talent. Sitting a comfortable second in the championship standings, Felipe Nasr’s five podiums have certainly got him noticed by the sport’s elite.
Perhaps that Formula 1 seat may come sooner than many expect?
I remember watching him race for the first time during his British F3 reign in 2010 when he joined a prestigious list of drivers, including Jim Clark, Nelson Piquet, Jack Harvey and his hero Ayrton Senna, to become championship victor. I knew then he was one to watch but could not predict quite how developed his driving would become.
His performances this year come one year after an overall tenth place finish in GP2 with DAMS. Since a switch to Carlin, the Brazilian has enjoyed much greater success and consistency.
Now is the time for Nasr to build on his experiences and develop as a driver. Experience in Motorsport is priceless and can often be a driver’s greatest strength. Carlin too is a sensible choice. A total of 175 drivers have graduated from the team to secure well-placed and competitive seats. Among them, Formula 1 drivers, Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg, Robert Kubica, Sebastian Vettel, Jaime Alguersuari and Daniel Ricciardo.
Unlike many of the above listed drivers, Nasr’s career is quiet in terms of media coverage. This is more dangerous for his competitors than many think; on a weekend, the pressure and the talk goes elsewhere. For this reason, he is a formidable presence.
After all, it takes a brave man to turn down Red Bull.
I admit, he has not won a race yet but is stepping closer and closer to that maiden victory with every race. Alongside the enigmatic, Jolyon Palmer, this partnership and the strength it brings could push him atop the podium. Only twice outside the points, these statistics are mightily impressive.
Good luck, Felipe!