Off to new goals
Melbourne, 15th of March 2015. At his Formula One debut race Felipe Nasr was the man of the hour – P5. “That was a very special moment for me. Achieving the mark as the best ever Brazilian rookie in the first Formula One race was a surprise for everyone, also back home in Brazil,” he remembers. It was not the only highlight of the season. “In Russia I also had a great race finishing in P6 which was the second best result of the season,” Felipe says. With his competitive spirit and will power the Brazilian always tried to extract the maximum out of the Sauber C34-Ferrari taking every opportunity.
Looking back to 2015, there was lot to learn for the rookie – new race tracks, technical understanding and dealing with busy race weekend schedules are just a few examples. “It was a very interesting season with a lot of positives. There were moments when we as a team could achieve the results we wanted, but we also had parts of the season which were quite tough,” explains Felipe. At the end of the season there was definitely a reason to celebrate: The Brazilian finished his first Formula One season as second best rookie and 13th overall in the drivers’ championship – a result that makes him confident. But, being a race driver is a never-ending learning process. “There is always room for improvement. Not only from a driving perspective. There are many other things such as technical know-how, physical and mental training. The experiences from last year are very important for this season,” says the Brazilian. The Formula One world is keen to see what will be next.
Born into a racing family
Felipe Nasr became involved in racing when he was seven years old. This was not a surprise, as Felipe comes from a motorsport family. His uncle was a racing driver and competed in the British Formula Ford series in the ‘80s. “When he came back to Brazil, he and my father decided to start their own racing team in F3,” explains Felipe. In the late ‘90s, Felipe followed some races of the South American F3 Championship, but never thought about becoming a racing driver. One day his father asked him if he would like to drive a go-kart, and Felipe could not say no to this offer. “I also liked playing football, but driving a kart for the first time was a unique feeling for me.” After this experience, the young Brazilian started his career in karting, and showed his potential by winning the Brazilian Kart Championship three times.
After some successful years in karting back home in Brazil, Felipe continued his career in the Formula BMW Europe series in 2009. “When I was 16 years old I moved to Italy and started working with an Italian Formula BMW Team which was based close to Milan. It was not easy to leave my family and friends behind.” Although Felipe had to adapt to a new environment and language, he already had his big dream in sight. “If I want to make it into Formula One, I’ll have to start here.” By having lunch with the engineers and mechanics every day he picked up the Italian language. “I had a good time there.” There is no doubt about the truth of this statement, as he won the European Formula BMW title in his rookie season.
In 2011 Felipe became British Formula 3 Champion and finished second in the prestigious Macau Grand Prix Formula 3 race. From 2012 to 2014 he competed in the GP2 series. In 2014, in his double role as GP2 driver and test and reserve driver for the Williams F1 Team, Felipe finished third in the GP2 series.
Felipe’s grandfather originally comes from Lebanon and immigrated to Brazil in the ‘60s. “He came by ship, and it took him about three months.” Together with his wife, whom he met in Brazil, they moved to Brasilia. So far Felipe has never been to his grandfather’s home country. However, the Lebanese culture continues in Brazil. “Every Saturday the whole family goes to my grandmother’s house where she cooks Lebanese food. This is very traditional for us.”
Whenever Felipe has some time off back home he has a special hobby — fishing. Completely the opposite of racing, nature helps him to recharge his batteries. “There is always a balance between professional and personal life. For me fishing is a time to relax, which I can spend with my friends.” Interestingly, Felipe does not eat fish or any sea food. “I don’t like fish at all, I only catch them and then I let them go again.”
VIDEO: Get to know Felipe Nasr
Watch and enjoy! Subtitles available. Tip: Click on the preview at the end of this video to watch the more videos with Felipe!
F1 stats prior to the 2016 season:
|First GP||Australien 2015|
|Best race result||5th Australia (2015)|
|Date/Place of birth||21st August 1992 / Brasilia (BR)|
|Height / Weight||1.75 m / 68 kg|
|Hobbies||Karting, RC Cars, Fishing|
|Favourite food||VaItalian and Lebanese Food, no sea food|
|Favourite drink||Orange Juice|
|Favourite music||Brazilian Music, Classic Rock, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Dire Straits|
|Favourite track||Spa Francorchamps|
|Languages||Portuguese, English, Italian|
|2015||13th FIA Formula One World Championship (Sauber F1 Team)|
|2014||Test and reserve driver Williams F1 Team
3rd place GP2 series
|2013||4th place GP2 series|
|2012||10th place GP2 series|
|2011||1st place British Formula 3
2nd place GP Macau Formula 3
|2010||5th place British Formula 3|
|2009||1st place Formula BMW Europe|
|2000-2007 Kart||1st place Brazilian Kart Championship in 2004, 2006 & 2007|