Felipe Massa has said that he is happy to see fellow Brazilian and newly-appointed Sauber driver Felipe Nasr get a drive for the 2015 Formula 1 season.
In a move from left-field, Sauber confirmed on Wednesday that it had signed Nasr alongside Caterham’s Marcus Ericsson for the 2015 season, replacing the current line-up of Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez.
Nasr becomes the second Brazilian driver in the field after Massa, who said he was pleased by the news during the FIA press conference on Thursday at Interlagos.
“I’m happy for him,” Massa said. “I think for Brazil it’s great to have another Brazilian driver racing. I’m quite close to him, we’ve worked together the whole season inside the team.
“He’s in GP2, maybe his third season in GP2 so it’s his time, his opportunity to go to Formula 1, otherwise it starts to be a little bit more difficult after that so I’m happy that he had his opportunity, his chance and I hope the best for him.
“I hope the best for him and I hope that we can bring our Brazilian flag on the top now with two drivers, not just one.”
Nasr joins Sauber at a time when the team is struggling financially, but could yet face more problems as Adrian Sutil is known to have a firm contract for next season that would have to be compensated for.
Massa appreciated that it is a difficult time for Sauber, but hopes Nasr can be given a real chance to show what he can do in F1.
“Definitely, it’s not a great moment for Sauber,” Massa said. “I don’t know exactly how it’s going to be next year, his team, I don’t know which car and how competitive they can be, seeing that they are suffering a little bit of crisis and crisis is not good for everything you’re doing.
“But anyway, I hope the best for him and I hope he can have a good start and a good experience and being in Formula 1 for a long time, not just for a few years.”