A brief biography of Sauber driver Felipe Nasr, including his career history and Formula One statistics
Felipe Nasr's early passion for kart racing saw him clinch three national titles by the time he was 15. After that early success it was only natural that he should turn his attention to single seater racing in Formula BMW Americas, where he clinched a podium place in the final race of the year in only his second outing.
Rather than continuing on the domestic stage, Nasr had his eyes set further afield and moved away from his homeland in 2009 for a full season campaign in Formula BMW Europe. He finished 14 of the 16 races in the top two - six of them as the outright winner. As the runaway victory in that year's championship he caught the attention of BMW which at the time owned Sauber F1, but Nasr's hopes of a Formula One test drive with the team collapsed when BMW sold its stake and pulled out of the sport.
Instead, Nasr moved into the British Formula 3 Championship in 2010 with Räikkönen Robertson Racing alongside subsequent IndyCar driver Carlos Huertas, and then transferred to Carlin for 2011 where he was paired with future F1 star Kevin Magnussen. Nasr dominated the season and claimed seven wins among 17 podium finishes to win the title, and he was also runner up in the Macau Grand Prix to Marco Wittmann.
He started 2012 with another second place, this time in the 24 Hours of Daytona with Michael Shanks Racing, and then embarked on the first of three full seasons competing in GP2, initially with DAMS and then with Carlin. He was in the running for the 2014 title after four wins at Catalunya, Red Bull Ring, Silverstone and Spa, but he was ultimately held off by Jolyon Palmer and Stoffel Vandoorne and had to settle for third place in the drivers championship.
That same year, Nasr had been handed the role of test and development for Williams F1 and he made appearances in Formula One free practice in Bahrain, China, Spain, USA and at home in Brazil. At the end of the year it was confirmed that he would race full time the following season with Sauber, and in his first outing with the team in Australia he finished an impressive fifth place - the best position in a race début for any Brazilian driver in the sport to date. He picked up more points finishes in China and Monaco as part of an unbroken run of eight successful race completions before he suffered his first retirement at the British Grand Prix when his gearbox failed on the formation lap.
Nasr finished in the points in three more races in his first season, but Sauber's dire financial circumstances meant that the team was falling behind its rivals in terms of competitiveness. Nasr was unable to crack the top ten again for the following year, but he team's takeover by an investment group will hopefully allow it to get back on terms with the rest of the field and give Nasr a chance to show what he can really do behind the wheel.