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Motorsports Mondial

Felipe Nasr joins DAMS

The aim of the DAMS team is to pursue the success it enjoyed in a particularly fruitful 2011 season, and the French team has given itself the weapons to do so. After Davide Valsecchi, the ideal team leader, it has just signed the very promising Brazilian, Felipe Nasr, creating a particularly complementary duo.

Felipe, who was born in Brasilia on 21st August 1992, has literally exploded on the motor racing scene. He made a stunning debut in single-seaters as he won the Formula BMW Europe Championship in his first season in 2009 with 7 victories and 14 podium finishes. He continued his meteoric rise by clinching the title in the very competitive British F3 Championship in 2011 (7 victories, 17 podium finishes) like his idol and fellow-countryman the late Ayrton Senna did in 1983. He is as consistent as he is quick and has showed real maturity for one so young. The duo he forms with Davide Valsecchi, combining experience and speed, is already an awe-inspiring one. The whole team can’t wait to see him in action on the track starting with the first tests at Jerez between 28th February and 1st March.

Jean-Paul Driot, CEO: “I’m really delighted to welcome Felipe to the DAMS team. We’ve known him and followed his progress since his Formula BMW days, and we immediately spotted his incredible potential. We’ll do what’s necessary to allow him to express his talent and develop it throughout the whole GP2 Series Championship. With Davide’s experience and Felipe’s fieriness and youth we’ve got the best possible driver combination.”

Felipe Nasr: “I am very happy that we managed to get all the details worked out and that I will be able to be in GP2 this year. After Italy in 2009, the UK in 2010 and 2011 it is time for me to move again and head to France, thanks to the combined efforts of my family, my manager Steve Robertson, my Brazilian sponsors and of DAMS, I have a new home where to work, improve my driving and prove my worth. I have so much to learn and I am sure that with DAMS in GP2 and with a strong team mate, I am in the right place to learn the trades of the series and of the new tracks that I will face. Have to say that some of them I already know from the Formula BMW time, but it will be a tough challenge getting out of the British cocoon I comfortably was for the last two years. I have no word to describe how happy I am to be able to continue to wear the colors of Brazil with two strong Brazilian sponsors that believe in me and will be supporting my career in the long run.”

Motorsports Mondial

Home Coming King


Felipe Nasr, 2011 British F3 Champion, is given a Champion’s reception upon arrival in native Brazil.

This mega-talent from Brasilia has won two very competitive championships in the past three years in the cut-throat world of European road racing. In the prestigious Macau F3 Grand Prix last month, he was second in both the qualifying race and feature event.

The Felipe file features race and championship winning ways before he was 10-years-old. He was 2000 Brasilia Champion in the cadet class at the age of eight. He repeated the feat the following year and finished an impressive second in the same category in the Brazilian championship.

Nasr notched up a championship win every year for the next six seasons.

Pointing in the right direction. Uncle Amir Nasr runs a team in Brazilian stock car racing and is a guidance force in the career of Felipe.

Grand debut. Grand finale.   

The 2008 Formula 1 race at Interlagos saw an epic, emotion-filled season finale. But behind the scenes, in a supporting race, a new talent was emerging.

Nasr finished on the podium in his first weekend of single-seater racing, in the final race of the Formula BMW Americas.

For the 2009 season, like the legion of talented Brazilian drivers before him – from Fittipaldi to Felipe Massa – he moved to Europe, and joined Antonio Ferrari’s Euro International team to compete in Formula BMW Europe.

Racing against a host of second year and much more experienced drivers, Nasr dominated the season, winning the championship with 392 points against 288 for runner-up, Spaniard Daniel Juncadella.

From 16 races Nasr took seven victories, claimed eight pole positions and was on the podium in all but two races. A one-off appearance in the Pacific variant of the same series saw two wins, two poles and two fastest laps from three races.   

La Familia.

This command performance in his first season of motor racing naturally sparked interest from various teams and driver management programs. After careful evaluation of various offers, Nasr, who is ably guided his father, Samir and uncle Amir, decided on the management of Steve Robertson, the man who brought us the soft-spoken but oft-winning Kimi Raikkonen.

What Robertson saw in Nasr, as in Kimi, was a driver winning races of brief duration by a wide margin. “Pure racing talent,” said Robertson in an F1 Weekly interview earlier this year.

Success breeds success. Two championships in three years for Nasr. The 2009 Formula Formula BMW Europe and this year’s British F3.

Felipe in F3

Fittipaldi, Piquet and Senna all arrived in F1 on the back of their success in British F3. For the 2010 season Nasr entered the series driving for Double R Racing – as in Räikkönen Robertson – with Mercedes powerplant.

In only his second full season of single-seater racing, Nasr finished the season in the top five, taking maiden victory at Rockingham. He also made three other podium appearances and recorded three fastest laps.

Change of team to Carlin Motorsports for the 2011 season saw Nasr open the season with a pair of victories, and a second, from the first weekend at Monza in a Volkswagen-powered Dallara.

Five other victories, and podium finishes in more than half of the 30 races, helped Nasr amass 318 points to win the British F3 Championship, ahead of Dane Kevin Magnussen on 237 points.

Street smart. Hustling in the streets of Macau, Nasr was quick all weekend in the former Portuguese colony. A late race yellow prevented him from mounting a challenge for victory.

Nasr signed-off on his F3 career with strong showing in the streets of Macau. The inaugural F3 race here in 1983 was won by fellow Brazilian Ayrton Senna.

The Final Frontier

The 2012 season will bring Felipe Nasr to the gates of Formula 1. A decision is expected in the near future on his future plans.

He recently tested World Series by Renault machinery at Motorland Aragon and was quoted on their website saying:

“Driving a single-seater like this is all part of preparing for F1.”


Forza Felipe!


— Nasir Hameed


   Greetings and racing regards from California.


Faces going places.

The new Felipe Baby! The friendly folks who brought Kimi Raikkonen to the pinnacle of motor racing, with only 23 races under his belt, the father and son duo of David and Steve Robertson have now announced their new signing.

From the Arctic Ice Man to the Amazing Amazon Man.

Steve Robertson quoted on Autosport.com, “I see a lot of the same qualities that I first saw in Kimi. He’s super quick, he’s got unbelievable car control, and he doesn’t make mistakes. He has that special talent that doesn’t come along that often.

“We don’t just want a driver who’s going to get to F1, that’s not good enough for us. We want a driver who’s got the potential to be world champion.”

Meet the next mega-motorsport star from Brazil.

Luíz Felipe de Oliveira Nasr was born in Brasilia on August 21, 1992. He made his single-seater debut in 2008, at Interlagos in the Formula BMW Americas event supporting the Brazilian Grand Prix. While Massa and Hamilton would stage their epic battle for the F1 championship on the same Sunday, Nasr quietly and quickly made his mark by finishing his race on the podium, in what was only his second motor race.

In 2009, like many of his fellow Brazilians before, Nasr packed his bags and took the long haul flight to Europe seeking success. Destination; Formula BMW Europe.

The second edition of the united series, formed from the merger of Formula BMW Germany and its sister series in the UK, kicked off in May at Circuit de Cataluña. Nasr would mount his challenge with Euro International, run by one-time Indy Car entrant Antonio Ferrari.

The young Brazilian began his reign in Spain in style. Pole position, fastest lap and second in the opening race of the weekend, only 0.668s behind race winner and second-year driver Michael Christensen.

In the second race Nasr would again start from pole position and this time was able to keep the talented Danish driver behind him.

The series then traveled to the Dutch seaside track at Zandvoort. The Dutch round supported the prestigious Masters of Formula 3 race. Nasr again made waves by winning the opening race, this time from second row with fastest lap over rising local talent and fellow rookie Robin Frijns.

In the second race, again from second row, he was only 0.068s behind race winner English rookie Jack Harvey and recorded the fastest lap.

Round three took place at the birth place of Formula 1, Silverstone. Nasr recorded the fastest lap in race one while climbing to an 8th place finish from 23rd on the grid following technical difficulties in qualifying, while Robin Frijns flew to his maiden win for the Josef Kaufmann team.

In race two Nasr repeated his performance, same finishing position (8th) from the same starting position (23rd) while Christensen set the fastest lap and took the win.

At Nurburgring he took pole for both races, finished second to Christensen in race one, and scored his third win of the season in race two in which he also recorded the fastest lap.

Christensen took pole for both races at Hungaroring with Nasr sharing the front row with him. In race one both drivers kept their starting positions at the finish.

After the second race in Hungary Christensen saw his championship hopes turned into ash. He was excluded from the results, and remaining rounds, due to a technical infringement. The same penalty was handed down to his two rookie teammates, Timmy Hansen of Sweden and Jack Te Braak of the Netherlands.

However, on appeal all Muecke drivers were allowed to race but would not be allowed to score points while the final decision was made.

Nasr was the big winner with the fastest lap in the second race.

In Valencia French driver Jim Pla was the main player of the weekend, winning both races ahead of Nasr.

At Spa-Francorchamps Nasr took pole position for both races but had to settle for second behind Pla who grabbed both wins, making it four in a row for the DAMS driver.

Final round was in the magical Pista di Monza. After finishing second to Juncadella in race won, Nasr stamped his authority in the final race of the season on Sunday. While countryman and most experienced F1 pilot Rubens Barrichello would score an emotional win in the home of his former employer, the young Brazilian quietly and quickly won the final race of the 2009 Formula BMW Europe Championship.

Felipe Nasr won the Rookie Cup and Championship with 392 points, a massive 104 points ahead of second place second year driver from Spain Daniel Juncadella.

In the steps of Senna

In 1982, Ayrton Senna da Silva dominated the British Formula Ford Championship and continued the tradition the following season in Formula 3. Rest is history.

Fast forward to 2009. Felipe Nasr has nabbed a championship in his first year of motor racing. Next season he steps up to the British F3 Championship.

As he explained on Autosport.com, “It’s the best thing that’s happened in my career so far. I want to get into F1, and I know that they can make this dream of mine come true.”

History may repeat itself.

— Nasir Hameed