Felipe Nasr finally announced himself as a fully fledged GP2 driver by adding his name to the exclusive list of those who have taken a race win in this all important feeder series into Formula One. Nasr spoke to Callum Rowe’s GP2 Blog about what it means to finally have a race win under his belt, his first day as a Williams Martini Racing Reserve Driver and what he’d change to ensure he wins the title.
Q. Since the last time we spoke, you have finally become a race winner in GP2. How did it feel to cross the line in the Spain Sprint Race to win?
Felipe Nasr: You can all imagine how good it felt to take that weight out of my shoulders, or the monkey out off my back as it is more properly said. After so many near misses Spain was the reward for the hard work from Team Carlin and me.
Q. You added a second win to your tally in Austria last weekend. Referring to points they are more valuable, but is it better to take Feature Race victories than Sprint Race victories?
FN: Every win has its sweet, special taste and I will take them the way they come. This one in the feature race at a circuit nobody had raced in GP2 before, was really extraordinary, from start to finish, perfect timing of the pit stop, superb work by all the mechanics and a special supervision by my engineer. Perfection all the way.
Q. You retired with a clutch problem early into the Sprint last weekend. Is it frustrating to allow your closest rival, Jolyon Palmer, to get such a points jump?
FN: I know Jolyon very well as he was my team mate in 2013 and he is a tough rival. But this weekend, even with the clutch problems at the Sprint race, I got closer to him in the championship. Let’s keep it this way, gaining little by little but always.
Q. GP2 made a move from a 30 minute to a 45 minute Practice session this season. As a man who has experienced both session lengths, does the extra 15 minutes make that much of a difference?
FN: In any profession you choose the extra practice time is fundamental for a deeper understanding of all the variables and a better performance in the end. So straight answering your question. Yes, it makes a 50% difference. Hehe. Seriously now, this time increase was even better for the new drivers on GP2, wish I had these 15 minutes when I started in 2012.
Q. Is there a specific area of your driving you think you must improve to mount a charge for the GP2 title?
FN: The moment a driver believes he has nothing to learn and improve is the moment his career starts going downhill. We are working continuously to improve in all areas and the charge for the 2014 title will naturally happen.
Q. You have become Williams Martini Racing’s Reserve Driver in recent months. What is it like to be involved with such a professional F1 team?
FN: When you dream about F1 when you start racing you imagine another world. I can tell you it is even more than we can ever imagine, there are not enough words to describe it. The Williams Martini Team received me in the best existing way and I am learning a lot with this experience. At the same time I am giving my best to help them with my effort and professionalism as well.
Q. Could you describe your feelings when you rove the Williams in FP1 back in Bahrain?
FN: I keep asking myself. Has it really happened? Was it so special? Thankfully the answers are all yes, I could (and one day I will, promise) write a whole book about that first day.
Q. Back to GP2, what are your aims going into Round 5 of the championship at Silverstone?
FN: Living in the UK for two years already and not having a Brazilian GP2 race, the British GP2 race is my home race. I love the circuit, the place and a couple of podiums followed by a whole lot of points is what I am hoping and working for.