Williams reserve driver Felipe Nasr has been named to the seat, the team announced late Wednesday. This leaves both incumbents – Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez – along with reserve Giedo van der Garde and second test driver Sergey Sirotkin on the outside looking in.
Nasr, who carries personal support from Banco de Brasil, is now announced on the heels of this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix. Team principal Monisha Kaltenborn highlighted Nasr’s potential in announcing the news.
“We have been following Felipe’s career path for some time now, and he fully deserves his position in Formula One having had a very successful career in junior categories,” she said in a team release. “We are happy that he will be driving for our team next year. This means that Brazil will have one more young and talented driver in the sport. Banco do Brasil has been an important partner for Felipe so far, and we are delighted that such a renowned company is contuing to support him during this important step. We look forward to this partnership.”
Nasr will now be the second Brazilian driver alongside Felipe Massa on the grid, Massa maintaining his place at Williams. Interestingly, Nasr will follow Massa as a driver making his debut with Sauber (2002).
“It is a very important step in my career to sign with the Sauber F1 Team for the 2015 Formula One World Championship,” he said. “This is an unforgettable moment that I owe to all of those who have supported me – my family, my friends, my sponsors, my teams and my country. Today the dream has come true.
“Sauber was responsible for the arrival in F1 of great names such as Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen, Robert Kubica and Sebastian Vettel. I am proud now to also be part of this racing family. I had a wonderful year at Williams Martini, where I learned a lot and prepared myself to be a race driver in Formula One.”
This now makes the final two Grands Prix all the more interesting for Sutil and Gutierrez, as they seek to prove themselves to other teams on the grid.