Felipe Nasr to Toro Rosso?

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    Max Jacobson

    @prisoner-monkeys I’m well aware of who his teammate is. Nonetheless, I still think the relative performances tell us something (namely that the car perhaps isn’t being set-up very well).


    First of all, Nasr has talent. Quite a lot.
    Second, Bernie needs a Brazilian in F1, and Massa is on his way out. Someone is going to take him, I reckon.


    I thought Nasr had rejected being part of the Red Bull Junior team a couple of years ago.

    Jon Sandor

    Nasr strikes me as ….. adequate. Nobody has ever become GP2 champ without winning a single race. It looks like Nasr might pull off that feat if the season keeps going the way it is. He did not win a single race in GP2 last season either. That said, he has been very consistent, which ain’t nothing.

    If there is a “We need a Brazilian driver in F1” attitude in play then I suppose his form only matters relative to the other Brazilians, and he’s been better than AFDC. But if we’re doing rumors, I heard one involving Hulk moving to Ferrari and Massa to Sauber. So the hypothetical Brazilian quota would still be met.


    the quota is a reality, because of the millions of people in Brazil who watch F1, at the main TV channel of the country.


    Da Costa impressed in 2012 in GP3, but that car was even further from F1 in terms of performance than this year’s. His FR3.5 campaign went from good – but not amazing – to incredible in the last five races of the season, with 4 wins and a second place. Arden-Caterham was a new team in 2012, and I believe they were at least a little lucky to do so well in their rookie season, but this year even with more experience they aren’t the best team, and da Costa is a podium contender but inconsistent. He might improve in the second half of the year but I think he could wait one more year before stepping up to F1, and part of the fault for this season lies with his team.
    Nasr is consistent and fighting at the top of GP2, and with Coletti not scoring for many races and now also qualifying in the second half of the grid he might be ready for the title. But he has still no wins in one-and-a-half seasons in GP2! Even his team mate Palmer won a race this season.
    Out of the two I think Nasr is the better option, but just by a bit.

    Prisoner Monkeys

    If by “a tiny bit” you mean “totally, completely and absolutely”, then yes, I agree.

    Nast might not have any wins to his name, but that’s not for a lack of trying – he came pretty close in Bahrain. He is fast and he is consistent, and while others might have better results, they’ve also had worse from time to time.

    Palmer, on the other hand, seems convinced that he is a front-runner simply because he is better than the mid-fielders, but is blissfully unaware that he cannot compete with the actual front-runners like Nasr.


    @prisoner-monkeys Meanwhile in the GP2 universe..Palmer is P3, Nasr is P12.
    Still, I do agree that Palmer is overrated.

    Iestyn Davies

    IMO, all the drivers who are looking to try and get into F1, but now struggling, have missed a trick by refusing the RB program. Last year/before that Marko was looking for a driver to fill in the gap between Ricciardo and Vergne (two great picks), and Sainz Jr and Kvyat (also two good picks). Alguersuari had been thrown in earlier than desired by a year/half to fill a gap after Buemi (after they abandoned Hartley, who did poor in FR 3.5) and Marko didn’t want that for Sainz Jr.

    So, he looked again at who he could put in, and Frijns really was perfect for this spot. Right now he would be finishing a second year of WSR, or maybe a full year in GP2 with a title shot, before getting a guaranteed 2 year drive at Toro Rosso. Beat Vergne next year and your stock will be high to get another seat, if not a RB seat once Vettel moves on. But Frijns said no, and after trying Williamson unsuccessfully for a few races, Marko went with Felix da Costa (a good pick, also at the right time, as he had ran out of budget – and driving for poor teams had hampered him for a few years).

    Nasr can refuse RB because he has significant Brazilian backing, and with the moving on of Senna is in the plum seat to be the next Brazilian driver, once Massa moves on (be it next year or the one after). Coletti and Wickens are unlucky to be dropped by RB – they could have moved to Toro Rosso next year (Coletti they would like I’m sure). Not sure if Coletti is up to F1 however, don’t know why his season has blown hot and cold. Tyres? Wickens was also stuck with DR and JEV, hard competition. Felix da Costa has managed to come along after these three.

    Now, da Costa is in the plum seat, while others like Frijns are hoping for a title shot in GP2 next year with the one paying seat available, Bird’s at Russian Time (vacant should he win the title or likely so if he is runner-up), to remain in the shop window, while others such as Sirotkin vault them with superior sponsor backing to fast-track to F1. I think this fast-tracking will only become more prevalent, or manufacturer backing (i.e. RB Juniors) will step in and many drivers will get stuck at GP2. We have Pic, Chilton and soon Sirotkin in the fast-track category at the moment (i.e. rushing up the ladder ASAP to F1, given their ability, amount of sponsor backing, and lacking any driver titles along the way).

    The list of RB juniors promoted to F1 and those dropped are illuminating:

    Promoted: Bernoldi, Klien, Karthikeyan, Friesacher, Doornbos, Liuzzi, Speed, Vettel, Buemi, Alguersuari, Chandhok, Ricciardo, Vergne.
    Notable dropped: Albuquerque, Ammermuller, Coletti, Dillmann, Vernay, Aleshin, Bortolotti, Wickens, Juncadella, Hartley.

    The last two still have a shot in Mercedes’ Junior program in DTM, where Juncadella looks favoured (YDT). Coletti and Dillmann look like GP2 will be their peak achievement for now.


    Still can’t believe they dropped Bortolotti and Wickens. Bortolotti for one mediocre GP3 season (2010), Wickens (because he couldn’t beat GP2 veteran Andy Soucek in F2 in 2009). Bortolotti then went to dominate F2 in 2011, and is dominating the Eurocup Megane Trophy (the touring car category of World Series by Renault) right now. Wickens finished runner-up in GP3 in 2010, won WSR 3.5 in 2011, and look at him in DTM now.

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