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F1 Abu Dhabi GP: Nasr won't let contract talks cloud Sauber focus

Felipe Nasr says he will restart Sauber contract talks for a 2017 race seat immediately after the Abu Dhabi GP.
Felipe Nasr says he will restart Sauber contract talks for a 2017 race seat immediately after the Abu Dhabi GP and his focus is purely on the final race of the season to help the Swiss team secure 10th place in the F1 world constructors' championship.

The Brazilian driver was dealt a blow to his F1 future hopes when it was confirmed primary sponsor Banco do Brasil would withdraw its backing and he is under pressure from Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Gutierrez for the second Sauber race seat alongside the already confirmed Marcus Ericsson for 2017.

Nasr hopes his ninth place in the Brazil GP which lifted Sauber above Manor in the F1 world constructors' championship can be an ace up his sleeve and says his sole focus until Sunday night is seeing the Swiss team take 10th spot in the championship and with it an estimated £30 million more in prize money.

“The negotiations are still going on, that's the most important,” Nasr said. “My head is here this weekend, I cannot think about future now. We have tenth place to confirm this weekend so we can't lose our heads yet on other things. We need a strong race here to finally celebrate those two points.

“I'm confident I've been doing the best job here on track, delivering the results I needed, the team needed. We knew these two points were available so we need to consolidate them here. That's why I don't want nobody, myself, the team, anybody else, be distracted on anything else to make sure we guarantee this tenth place this weekend.”

READ: Wehrlein slams Sauber deal reports as false

Nasr is keen to restart contract talks with Sauber on Monday in Abu Dhabi immediately after the final race of the season. Just the one race seat at Sauber and two at Manor remain empty for the 2017 F1 grid.

POINTS: The F1 Drivers' & Constructors' standings ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix F1 finale

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by Haydn Cobb


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25.11.2016 - Free Practice 1, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34
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(L to R): Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Sahara Force India F1 Team Owner with Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 and Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team.
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(L to R): David Croft (GBR) Sky Sports Commentator with Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 and Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team.
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(L to R): Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1; Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Sahara Force India F1 Team Owner; Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team, with the Sahara Force India F1 VJM10.
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(L to R): Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 with team mate Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team and the Sahara Force India F1 VJM10.
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Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 and Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team unveil the Sahara Force India F1 VJM10.
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Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 and Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team unveil the Sahara Force India F1 VJM10.
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Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team.
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(L to R): David Croft (GBR) Sky Sports Commentator; Natalie Pinkham (GBR) Sky Sports Presenter; Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Sahara Force India F1 Team Owner; Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1; Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team; Otmar Szafnauer (USA) Sahara Force India F1 Chief Operating Officer; Andrew Green (GBR) Sahara Force India F1 Team Technical Director.
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(L to R): Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 with Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Sahara Force India F1 Team Owner and Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team.
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(L to R): Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 with Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team.
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(L to R): Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 with team mate Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team.
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(L to R): Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 with team mate Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team.
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