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Nasr in Toro Rosso frame?

Antonio Felix da Costa may not be the only candidate to fill Daniel Ricciardo's seat at Toro Rosso should the Australian move on for 2014.
Although a lot still hangs on Red Bull's prevarications over Mark Webber's replacement for 2014, the identity of whoever takes over from Daniel Ricciardo is not as clear cut as it may seem.

With the one Australian expected to replace another in Milton Keynes next season, Red Bull protégé Antonio Felix da Costa had been seen as the natural successor to Ricciardo, having earned race reviews for his few test outings in the top flight. However, with the Portuguese seeing his World Series by Renault campaign blighted by poor performance, other names are beginning to creep into the frame.

While Steve Robertson's discussions with RBR boss Christian Horner were thought to centre on Kimi Raikkonen, it is no surprise to see GP2 frontrunner Felipe Nasr's name cropping up in connection with Toro Rosso, with the Brazilian sharing Robertson's management expertise with the 2007 world champion.

According to Auto Motor und Sport, which cites Brazilian sources, Nasr's consistent season – which sees him leading the pursuit of GP2 points leader Stefano Coletti heading into the final third of the season – could see him leap-frog da Costa in the race to partner Jean-Eric Vergne, who is expected to retain his seat at STR for 2014.

The Brazilian is expected to tout backing from current GP2 sponsor Banco do Brasil when it comes to looking for a drive in the top flight next season, and would not be short of suitors, particularly if he manages to overhaul the mercurial Coletti.

Nasr's claim to an F1 place could also be enhanced by the precarious nature of compatriot Felipe Massa's position at Ferrari. While team boss Stefano Domenicali has expressed his preference for an unchanged partnership with Fernando Alonso, there are doubts whether Massa will be retained and, if he is dropped, whether he will decide to walk away from F1 altogether, having claimed that he has no intention of driving for anything other than a front-running team. Massa is currently the only Brazilian driver in F1….

Should Nasr wind up at Toro Rosso, meanwhile, it would see the British F3 champion come full circle, having apparently been offered the chance to join Red Bull's development scheme back in 2011. He declined the opportunity in favour of aligning with Robertson.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Antonio Felix da Costa (POR) Red Bull Racing Test Driver.
24.08.2013- Free Practice 3, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8
24.08.2013- Free Practice 3, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8
Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) during qualifying at Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia - March 22 2013. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) during qualifying at Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia - March 22 2013. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) on the second day of 2013 GP2 Series Testing at the Circuit de Jerez in Spain. Wednesday 27th February 2013. (Photo copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)
John Watson driving the McLaren MP4B at the 1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix, Las Vegas
Guy Moll at the 1934 Grand Prix Automobile de Montreux   [pic credit:Agence de presse Meurisse/Bibliothèque nationale de France]
2014 FIA European F3 champion Esteban Ocon is to test with Lotus F1
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12.10.2014- Race, the start
12.10.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
12.10.2014- Vitaly Mutko (RUS) Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation
12.10.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
12.10.2014- Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
12.10.2014- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 in the press conference after the race
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August 29, 2013 8:11 PM

Nasr's a fantastic driver. First saw him in Singapore 2009, came into BMW Asia as a guest driver for that weekend and won both races. Been following his career since then. He's too good to be chewed up and spat out by one of the bottom teams, it'd be good to have him in a car that could fight for points.


August 30, 2013 6:29 AM

JJJ. With all due respect you sound like someone reading stats rather than a regular GP2 viewer. For a young kid who's only in his second GP2 season he's doing phenomenally well taking the fight to drivers who have been chugging around since 2009. Make no mistake, GP2 is tough on newcomers, there are a lot of veterans there who know the car, know the teams, know the drill and will dominate rookies, just like Valsecchi. He was competing his sixth season when paired with Nasr at DAMS. Take a look at all the GP2 champions since 2008 and you'll notice something in common. They all took four or more seasons to win the title, with the exception of Hulkenberg who incredibly won it in his first season. Mate, if you're not convinced that a driver like Nasr deserves a shot at F1, you've got some unreasonably high standards. What do you think of Chilton? VDG? Gonzalez?

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