GP2’s Felipe Nasr pushing for F1 seat in 2015, says Sauber is “possible”

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GP2 title contender Felipe Nasr has revealed that his management is in talks with a number of Formula 1 teams over a possible seat for the 2015 season following three years in the sport’s feeder championship.

Nasr currently balances his GP2 commitments with a reserve driver role at Williams Martini Racing, for whom he has run during a handful of practice sessions so far this season. However, he thinks that his best chance of a full-time driver lies away from the British team.

“It’s hard to get a place at Williams because the two drivers have done a good job and the team will not want to change that,” he told Brazil’s SporTV. “I will keep up with all of the teams and see what happens.

“Williams has given me a very good background on what to expect in F1. I participate in all of the meetings and I’m always on the team radio.”

The Brazilian said that Sauber is his best chance of a race seat in 2015, but sees little point in racing for Caterham or Marussia at the back of the grid.

“Conversations have begun already,” he said. “My management is looking around. Force India is difficult, but I think Sauber is possible.

“[Racing at the back is] almost like racing in GP2. In fact I think it would be better to continue in GP2 because you’re not burning yourself in F1.

“I’m not saying I want a great team, but a midfield one that gives me a position to fight for the points would be fantastic. I think it’s possible.”

Nasr will have to focus on pulling the GP2 championship battle back in his favor, given that Jolyon Palmer currently leads by over forty points. However, with four rounds and eight races to go, there is definitely still time for him to make up the difference and overhaul the Briton at the top of the standings.

Brown: Dennis would have made same decision on McLaren-Honda split

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Zak Brown believes former McLaren team boss Ron Dennis would have made the same decision to cut ties with struggling Formula 1 engine partner Honda had he still been in charge at the team in 2017.

McLaren executive director Brown helped engineer a deal for the team to split with Honda at the end of the 2017 season after three tough seasons that had seen the Japanese manufacturer offer little in the way of performance or reliability.

The decision split opinion, with McLaren spurning a significant annual financial injection from Honda in order to link up with Renault, believing its on-track fortunes had to be prioritized over its commercial interests.

In an interview with Sky Sports, Brown was asked if he believed Dennis – McLaren’s long-running team chief before stepping down at the end of 2016 – would have made the same decision to cut ties with Honda.

“I think he would have,” Brown said.

“He was here when those conversations were ongoing and I think Ron always has and always will have the best interests of McLaren in his heart.

“He is Mr. McLaren. It burns him inside as much as us not to see us winning races.”

Brown also elaborated on the decision to break off the much-lauded relationship with Honda, saying the first signs of trouble with the 2017 power unit were clear in pre-season.

After a number of attempts to try and rectify the situation, Brown and his fellow team bosses felt there was no alternative but to end the Honda deal for 2018.

“We knew we were in trouble in testing in Barcelona and we worked really hard for six months to try and find solutions that would give us confidence that we’d be much more competitive in 2018,” Brown said.

“Ultimately, after trying many different things and many different ways we felt we couldn’t get there.

“Three years is a long time in Formula 1 and so we needed to change the direction to get our team back at the top.”