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Nasr: Sauber ‘a very attractive place to be’ in F1

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Felipe Nasr believes that Sauber is “a very attractive place to be” in Formula 1 as the team continues to rebuild following its takeover.

Nasr made his F1 debut with Sauber at the beginning of 2015, finishing fifth in his first grand prix but has failed to score a single point so far this season.

Financial uncertainty over the past few years left Sauber struggling at the back of the grid until Longbow Finance took over the Swiss operation in the summer.

The buy-out has allowed Sauber to develop upgrades for its C35 car that had been on hold, as well as hire key personnel to help its push up the grid.

Nasr has been linked with a move to Williams for 2017, but said on Thursday in Singapore that Sauber remained an attractive proposition for next season.

“Right now I don’t have any news. Hopefully soon but right now I don’t have much to say really,” Nasr said.

“All I can say, at Sauber things are moving forward. I can see the team really stepping up, a lot of new people coming in.

“It’s still a very attractive place to be, but it’s still an unknown.

“Hopefully when I have some news I’ll bring it in.”

Nasr is thought to be in contention for the Williams seat with rising F3 star Lance Stroll, with Valtteri Bottas widely expected to be retained for 2017.

Rinus VeeKay to drive for Ed Carpenter Racing in 2020

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Ed Carpenter Racing has signed 2019 Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay to drive the full 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season, the team announced Wednesday.

VeeKay will drive the No. 21 Chevrolet previously occupied by Spencer Pigot.

“I’m so happy!” the 19-year-old driver from the Netherlands said in a press release. “It’s a dream come true and something we have worked extremely hard for over the last couple of years. To step up from USF2000 to the NTT IndyCar Series in three years is really special.”

In his maiden Indy Lights season this year, VeeKay collected six race victories and seven pole potions. VeeKay previously won the 2018 Indy Pro 2000 championship, and finished second in the 2017 USF2000 standings.

VeeKay’s success in the ladder series caught the attention of Carpenter, who gave VeeKay the opportunity to first test for the team at Portland International Raceway in August.

“I have been following Rinus’s path through the Road to Indy, especially the past two years,” Carpenter said. “It was clear to me that he deserves to be in an Indy car. After his first day in a car at Portland this past season, that feeling became even more apparent. His pace, feedback and demeanor inside the car was very impressive for such a young driver.”

As a driver, Carpenter will be VeeKay’s teammate during the five oval races in 2020, once again returning to the team’s No. 20 entry. An announcement on which driver will pilot the No. 20 on the road and street circuits will be made at a later time.

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