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F1 Japanese GP: Nasr eager to stay on at improving Sauber

Felipe Nasr says he wants to stay with Sauber for a third season in 2017 following an upturn in form under new owners Longbow Finance.
Felipe Nasr has expressed his intentions to stay with Sauber for the 2017 Formula 1 season having watched the team 'step up' in recent races under new ownership.

The Brazilian joined Sauber in 2015, securing two top six finishes en route to 13th in the overall standings, but has failed to crack the top ten this year in a season that has seen the cash-strapped team struggle to introduce new developments.

However, with Longbow Finance purchasing the team in July, a series of new staff acquisitions and the implementation on much-delayed car updates have signalled a brighter future for the privateer team.

As such, though Sauber still remains at risk of finishing the 2016 season without any points for the second time in three years, though Nasr admits he has 'nothing yet', he says he has seen enough progress in recent races to convince him that he should stay.

“Oh yes [I want to stay], I see this team on the way up and I see a lot of positives happening,” he said. “A lot of good people have come on board and they are looking for more to the end of the year. It has really taken a step up here.

POINTS: The F1 World Championship standings after the Japanese Grand Prix

“I see the team forming a structure behind and in terms of development it will be totally different to this year the way we have the car and performance. We are not precisely in time with the car for 2017 but we can see the team working on it, they are all going in the right direction.”

Indeed, Nasr says much has changed behind the scene with the influx of investment from Longbow Finance and is certain it is on course to return to regular top ten finishes in 2017.

“It is a different position to where we were at the beginning of the year. Since the takeover a lot has been happening, a lot has changed and this is all positive. We need time for things to fall into place and to see the development curve coming up. In terms of what I can see this year, you can see things progressing.

“Next year, having a solid base and a solid structure, it won't stay like this Sauber has always been a point-scoring team. If we are back in the points next year in terms of in a more frequent way, that will be a good step forward.”

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