Felipe Nasr is in his debut season racing in F1 for Sauber. Here’s his insight into the life of an F1 driver.
Opportunities and possibilities
F1, like everything in life, opens a world of opportunities for all involved.
As a driver, you have the opportunity to drive a state-of-the-art car in the fastest possible way, meet people and discover places, start a new family with your team, fulfill a childhood dream and make a living along the way.
As a team, you have the opportunity to show what you are technically capable of, organise a group of people in accordance with the same principles, offer a unique showroom for your Sponsors and make a living along the way.
— Sauber F1 Team (@SauberF1Team) July 26, 2015
As a sponsor, you have the opportunity to showcase your products, services, and ideas on a worldwide stage, to gain the confidence of your customers and make a living along the way.
As a customer… well, I could go on and on with the opportunities, but let´s talk about the possibilities. These are a completely different story; there are odds that we have to pay attention to, in order to make things work.
Since the beginning we knew that our possibilities at the Hungaroring were not the biggest, given our car´s current difficulty to race over bumps and to perform on a track that combines hard braking and slow corners. Nevertheless, at Sauber, we all put our heads down and were eager for any chance to score some more points, knowing how much of an attrition race the Budapest event is.
Tyre temperature, brake temperature and general balance of the car were constantly looked after, as these factors remained key to race strategy. Making the most of the events that would arise could make the difference between scoring points or not.
Apart from my DNS at Silverstone, I have made it to the end in all nine races in my short F1 career: not bad!
In the end, I did not make it: I finished 11th – the second time this year – but at least I got to the chequered flag. Apart from my DNS at Silverstone, I have made it to the end in all nine races in my short F1 career! Not bad, but this is still a pity that I haven’t scored since Monaco, another place where we took the opportunity and made the best of our possibilities.
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 23, 2015
Now we have the mandatory summer vacation (I say mandatory because we drivers always want to be in action next week, you’re well aware of that). When we return, we’ll meet in Belgium with some novelties on the car as well as in the starting procedures. More opportunities and possibilities: let’s work to make these two meet!
Until next month, then, here on F1i, directly from the challenging and beloved Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.
Marcus Ericsson admits he regrets some missed opportunities from the first half of the season with Sauber.
With Ferrari delivering a major step forward with its power unit, Sauber was very competitive at the start of the year and scored points with both cars in Australia. 10th place in Hungary last weekend was just Ericsson's sixth point of the year, however, as the car has become less competitive and the Swede is left rueing some missed chances in the early races.
“I think it’s been a decent season so far, keeping in mind the team’s performance in 2014," Ericsson said. "We had a good season-opener, finishing with both cars in the points. Obviously, in the last few races we were all a bit disappointed as we lost momentum. Overall, we have done a good job so far, but, of course, we want to score more points.
"For myself I think I have learned a lot. Coming to a more experienced team was a big step up for me. I am satisfied with my performance so far, but there are some missed opportunities that I regret. That’s how it is sometimes, but I learn from these moments. There is always room for improvement, and I will push to become better.”
One specific race Ericsson highlights is in Malaysia where he missed out on what could have been a strong points finish.
“I had a good weekend during the Malaysian Grand Prix, being in the top ten in every session. In the race it went the other way. When I was attacking for P7, I retired in the gravel while I was trying to overtake. It was a shame, as the weekend had gone well up to that moment. It was a missed opportunity, which is part of the learning curve.”
Daniel Ricciardo’s action packed Hungarian Grand Prix put the Australian on his first podium since Austin last year, but there were more than just championship points to take away from his Magyar weekend.
Red Bull Racing’s dismal season had undoubtedly blemished both Ricciardo and Kvyat’s serenity as the pair desperately awaited an upturn in performance, especially on the part of engine partner Renault.
— Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) July 26, 2015
But Hungary provided some much needed solace to the team and driver’s troubles, with Ricciardo underlining the step forward which was accomplished by the team over the weekend.
“One of the most positive things about the weekend was the fact that from the first run on the track on Friday morning, the car felt so good, ” said Ricciardo.
“It was the first race in a long time where we really didn’t need to touch the balance over the weekend.
“We didn’t chase our tail and the car had more feeling about it, at least from my side. I felt like I could dictate a bit more balance and position the car more where I wanted to.”
The end result for Ricciardo was a competitive drive, an energetic attitude on the track along with some trademark moves which reminded everyone of the Australian’s talent and gusto.
Capitalizing on the team’s good Hungarian performance won’t be easy on the upcoming Spa and Monza power-circuits however, but Ricciardo believes a breakthrough has been made.
“Even compared to last year, I feel we really made some progress. Hungary is a short circuit which suited our car but we still made a step forward.
“We’ve made the upgrades we’ve brought to the car in the last two races work in the right way, so there’s definitely a lot of positives to take away.
“It’s nice to see a smile on all our faces and give something positive to the team coming into the break.”