Felipe Nasr Q&A - Carlin's GP2 driver on the season so far
Brazilian currently sits second in Drivers' Championship
By William Esler. Last Updated: 17/09/13 1:25pm
After a strong start to the season Felipe Nasr has emerged as a GP2 title contender in 2013 and Carlin's Brazilian driver currently sits second in the Drivers' Championship after eight races.
At the start of the season James Calado and Marcus Ericsson were tipped as the championship favourites, but you and Stefano Coletti have emerged as the early title contenders. Is this what you expected?
Felipe Nasr: "Well it's my second year in GP2 so I expected to be fighting for the title and we're definitely going in the right direction. It's been tight every weekend but we have been on the pace every time so far and scoring points, but so has [Stefano] Coletti.
"It's good that we are second in the championship, but it is a very long season and we need to keep scoring points like this every weekend. At some point in the season every driver has a difficult period, we know it will happen. I expected Monaco to be my weakest circuit so I suppose to leave with two fourth places is a good result.
"I'm not satisfied that we have not won a race yet this season, I'm not happy being second but we are playing the long game. I'm really looking forward to Silverstone though as it's a 'home' race for me really, it's a track I know very well and I'm aiming for the win there."
You've been in the top four in every race this season, and just a tenth off a race win on two occasions, is that frustrating or a positive sign for you?
FN: "It's been a bit frustrating but at the same time it shows we have a competitive car as we've been up there for most of the races. We've been just a tiny fraction off a win two or three times. When everything comes together, not just the pace, but the start, strategy and track position the win will come. What makes me pleased is that we haven't struggled for pace. We just need a bit more luck in a few other areas."
There's been a lot said about the standard of driving in GP2 recently. Do you have any opinion on that?
FN: "It's always been like this. Some drivers have always been the same but there's also good drivers that know how to react on the track; when to overtake and when to defend. It's the same in every championship. In the end you have to be firm but fair."
What has the reaction been back home in Brazil to your strong start to the season?
FN: "It's been very positive since I came back to Carlin; they trust my feedback on the team, we won a championship together in 2011 and we've been getting results from the start of this season in GP2. My sponsors have been fantastic and they want to succeed as much as I do.
"The media have been very positive. They are pushing me hard as they want another Brazilian driver in Formula 1, so they have been pushing me media wise to make F1 soon. I don't consider that. I just want to do my job here and fight for the title that I want so much. Then maybe we look and have time to think about Formula 1."
Does it feel the same being back at Carlin this season, despite now being in the GP2 after racing with the team in F3?
FN: "For sure for me it was the right thing to do. The team wants to win so badly and that's something that I recognise from my season with them in 2011. We had a good relationship then and then watching the team do a good job with Max [Chilton] and Rio [Haryanto] last season it was obvious the team had a competitive car. For me as a driver it feels like home, I know I can trust everyone."
Ok, so we've asked you about the racing, but what about the real Felipe? What makes you happiest?
FN: "I like to have a balance between my professional career and to be happy in my personal like. My life is not only on the track. You have to have a balance, which is what I try to find which I think makes you a better driver. In terms of being a driver, obviously it is winning that makes me happiest. Winning a championship would make me happier than winning a race though!"
Tell us something we might not know about Felipe Nasr?
FN: "Well my uncle who now attends the races with me and helps out with many aspects of my racing and sponsorship, used to race with my manager Steve Robertson and Mika Hakkinen in Formula Ford 1987!
"Also, some people might not realise that my first name is really Luiz, but since I was very young everyone calls me Felipe, which is actually my middle name. Apart from my Team Manager at Carlin who calls me Phil!"