Nasr in contention for Toro Rosso seat in 2014

Felipe Nasr

Felipe Nasr

A young, highly rated Brazilian driver has leapt to the front of the queue to become the next Toro Rosso driver.

It was thought that, should Daniel Ricciardo move to Red Bull‘s premier team in 2014, the next energy drink-backed youngster in line was Antonio Felix da Costa.

But Michael Schmidt, the highly respected correspondent for Auto Motor und Sport magazine, says that the 21-year-old Portuguese is actually suffering a “dip in form” in the Formula Renault 3.5 series.

“Voices from Brazil say that GP2 star Felipe Nasr is knocking on the door at Toro Rosso with money from Banco do Brasil and Sky Brasil,” he said on Wednesday.

Earlier this month, amid the uncertainty about Felipe Massa’s career, Bernie Ecclestone ‘vowed’ to help Nasr’s burgeoning Formula 1 hopes.

“I need a Brazilian driver,” said the wily F1 chief executive.

If Massa does not have his Ferrari contract extended beyond 2013, he is being linked with a possible return to Sauber.

But O Estado de S.Paulo correspondent Livio Oricchio admitted this week: “If Ferrari does not extend his contract, I would be surprised if Felipe stays in F1.”

The highest-profile driver linked with Massa’s seat for 2014 is Kimi Raikkonen, but team boss Stefano Domenicali on Wednesday measured his words carefully.

“Kimi is a very fast driver and everybody knows how I rate him,” he told F1’s official website.

“But if I make a comment now it will be taken as a direct answer. As I said, there is no rush and we will make the right decision in the right moment.” (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

  • Lol.

    Of course it should be Nasr. Great driver, one of the best GP2 has to offer, and sponsored by Red Bull.The fact the media haven’t picked up on this sooner is sort of worrying

  • hhdkfh

    Lol yes he Sainz and Da Costa are quite on par. They are all verry good. Maybe Vandoorne, Frijns and Magnussen are a little better at the moment. For me these 6 may join F1 in the coming future. The current grid isn’t gonna stay 4 ever. Luckily Hammie, Seb, Hulkie and Bianchi still are young and maybe Robert can come back one day.

  • Fernando Cruz

    Nasr is really good but he is not better than Bruno Senna was in 2008. Senna won 3 GP2 races in two seasons, Nasr won none until now. Senna did better in Monaco and Spa (tracks that most reveal the true potential of a driver). Nasr was only 4th in Monaco and qualified only 10th in Spa (Senna was Pole there in his second season). If it wasn’t for the financial crisis Senna would have gone to F1 in 2009, at the peak of his form, and could even have won races in his rookie season, as he would have one of the best cars (Honda). He would have developed much more until now and surely would be well established in F1 since 2009.

    Comparing Nasr with da Costa, the portuguese won 5 races in a season and a half in WSR, Nasr never won in two seasons in GP2. I think the portuguese is better.