F1 2016 Driver Review: Felipe Nasr

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Felipe Nasr

Team: Sauber
Car No.: 12
Races: 21
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: 9th (Brazil)
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 2
Laps Led: 0
Championship Position: 17th

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

Felipe Nasr’s second season in Formula 1 was a largely forgettable one. Sure, Sauber basically ran an updated version of its 2015 car for the bulk of the year as a result of its financial struggles, but he still failed to deliver on-track.

When racing for a backmarker team, you cannot be expected to work wonders, so your teammate is your best marker. Nasr was always regarded as the stronger racer at Sauber alongside Marcus Ericsson, yet he lost in the head-to-heads in both qualifying and races. It’s a pretty damning defeat.

Nasr’s outstanding moment came in Brazil, where he weathered the storm and red flags to finish ninth. he drove a good race, but the real magic came courtesy of Sauber’s pit wall where the strategy vaulted him up the pack.

It’s unclear whether Nasr will return next year, but his form this season didn’t help his cause much.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

Nasr’s reward for bringing Sauber two points and the financial upside that goes with it in the Constructor’s Championship is… an uncertain future in F1 after this season. The Brazilian’s sophomore season was underwhelming and forgettable otherwise.

Other than his home race where he did bring the car home, Nasr never looked like scoring points this year. Marcus Ericsson largely outclassed him in both qualifying and the races; in races where both drivers finished, Ericsson held a 9-4 edge.

Nasr has enough talent to be in F1 but his future will be dictated more by financials, even though he said in Abu Dhabi he’d prefer it to be results-based only. After an opportunistic 2015, Nasr didn’t follow-up as best as he could have this year.