F1 2015 Driver Review: Felipe Nasr

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Felipe Nasr

Team: Sauber F1 Team
Car No.: 12
Races: 18
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: 5th (Australia)
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 27
Laps Led: 0
Championship Position: 13th

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

As debut seasons in Formula 1 go, Felipe Nasr’s certainly won’t be regarded in either the highest or lowest esteem. However, given the relative pace of the Sauber compared to the rest of the field, coming away with a fifth and sixth place finish to show for 2015 must be regarded as a massive achievement for the Brazilian.

Admittedly, P5 in Australia came about in a race of attrition when Sauber was as near as it would be in terms of pace to the rest of the field, but it was still a gutsy performance on debut. In fact, it is the best result for a Brazilian driver in his first F1 race – impressive when you consider the heritage the nation boasts in the series.

Further points followed in China and Monaco, but Nasr wouldn’t score again until Singapore as the lack of updates on the Sauber proved costly. Nevertheless, he ran well to P6 in Russia, outstripping the ability of the C34 car on a regular basis. An 8-5 victory over Marcus Ericsson in races they both finished doesn’t really sum up the gulf in class between the two.

Nasr certainly showed flashes of brilliance across the course of his rookie F1 season, but quite whether it will be enough to hoist him up the field in the crazy 2017 driver market we’re poised for remains to be seen. Definite room for improvement, but not bad for starters.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

The Brazilian had an F1 career debut similar to Mark Webber, I thought. Fifth at Melbourne in a car that you’d never have expected to score points barring largely surprise and abnormal circumstances matched the Australian’s first outing in 2002. Sad to say things didn’t get quite so rosy the rest of the way but Nasr was dependable, serviceable and occasionally quick during a decently good first season.

The new Sauber was always going to be an improvement upon 2014’s disastrous and scoreless chassis, and matched against Swede Marcus Ericsson, Nasr had someone close enough in experience level that he could consider him of similar stature in the sport. More often than not, Nasr beat his teammate, and when the points opportunities arose, Nasr took them. He was reliable as well, with only two failures to finish.

If there was one thing you’d hold against Nasr – and this isn’t his fault necessarily – he was in a rookie class that featured arguably the most exciting rookie in decades in Max Verstappen, and a teammate in Carlos Sainz Jr. who if reliability had gone his way, would have fairly easily outscored Nasr. It was a solid but unspectacular first season, but he’s done enough to merit another chance.

 

Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
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Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

How to Watch Nitro Rallycross

Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.