Felipe Nasr, whose name rhymes with that of his Ferrari driving countryman – Felipe Massa – is hopeful of breaking into Formula 1 in 2014.
Earlier, the 21-year-old was linked with the vacant Toro Rosso seat, but it is now believed more likely he will sign a test and reserve contract.
Nasr, third in the GP2 standings and backed by Sky Brasil and Banco do Brasil, is managed by Kimi Raikkonen’s manager Steve Robertson.
He is also said to have the support of Formula 1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, who is worried Felipe Massa’s potential exit would leave the important Brazilian market unrepresented on the grid.
Nasr told Brazil’s Globo that he is still in the running to make his grand prix debut next season.
“I am keeping the goal. We are looking for it,” he said.
But he admitted that becoming a reserve driver is “undoubtedly something that is also in the plans”.
“You can see the examples of Hulkenberg and Bottas, who did the Fridays [practice sessions for grands prix] before coming in as race drivers.
“For me it would be good,” he added, “because I don’t know all the tracks. So to get this sort of mileage would be very important.” (GMM)
Subbed by AJN.