Felipe Massa has wished near namesake Felipe Nasr well in his F1 career, concerned that the Sauber graduate could be alone carrying the torch for Brazil for some time.

While not yet contemplating the end of his own spell in the top flight, Massa is aware that he doesn't have too many years left, and is delighted to see former Williams team-mate Nasr land a full race role after working his way through the ranks. The pair finished in line astern at the opening round in Australia as Nasr made a stellar debut with Sauber, but have moved apart in the standings since then as the elder statesman racked up a string of scoring finishes.

With his rival's accomplished start, however, Massa is hopeful that the Brazilian flag will continue to be represented in F1 after his own career comes to an end, citing a dearth of suitable talent currently climbing the ladder.

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"Felipe is the younger guy, here to learn and trying to stay as long as he can in F1," the Williams veteran noted, "I hope he can because, for the moment, I don't see another name [coming through].

"Maybe the little Fittipaldi or, maybe, the little Piquet, who are racing now, [will make it]. Pietro Fittipaldi is racing F3 in Europe and Pedro Piquet is racing in Brazil, but that is a horrible championship - so easy - so I hope he can come here to Europe. [In the meantime], I hope Felipe can have a good career here in F1, that he stays and can be fighting for victories and championships.

"We know how important it is for our country - Brazil has had great drivers in F1, but we have been struggling a lot in past years to create drivers so I hope we can have some more."

As their paths crossed in Grove last season, Massa did his bit to ensure that Nasr was equipped to progress in F1, but admits that he is not expecting any favours from the younger man in return.

"I tried to pass all the experience and information I had to him," the 2008 world championship runner-up confirmed, "He's a nice boy, and an intelligent guy as well, so I am sure it helped him and it is good to see that he is doing well.

"However, I didn't doing anything for him because I want him to be polite to me! We are there on the track to race, whether we are from the same country, or friends or whatever - it doesn't change anything on the track. We just need to fight, as it is for all the other drivers as well."