Felipe Nasr says that it’s been small things that have prevented Sauber from being more successful in Grand Prix events so far this season, but that he’s optimistic of a big jump im performance once these are addressed.
“Success is always the perfect sum of details,” the Brazilian driver told F1i in an exclusive interview this week. “[We’ve been] battling to get to the points and falling short just because of little details.
“Before the summer break was Hungary, where it was a case of so near and not so far,” he recalled. “The team was counting on the new rear wing, but due to teething problems it did not work the way it was expected to, so we had to postpone its deeper testing to the following week’s race at Hockenheim.”
Rain in Hungary helped Sauber deliver a strong performance in qualifying, but it was back down to earth with a bump in the race after a pit stop left him stuck behind Rio Haryanto in the Mercedes-powered Manor.
“That was a hard blow to our hopes,” Nasr admitted. “We lost so much time behind him that when we managed to get past the guys in front were far ahead and out of reach.
“The good lap times, though, were there until the end, showing that the car also has gained a new breath at least in race conditions.”
The long-awaited new rear wing was finally put into use in German and provided an immediate boost, although tyre and engine issues tempered Nasr’s progress in the race itself.
“I made a great start and jumped some places ahead, but the tyres were visibly deteriorating,” said Nasr, who caught the team out with an unexpected pit stop that cost more time mid-race. “Together with the tyre situation I had been experiencing some strange reactions form the engine that made me stop before the end of the race.”
Despite the disappointing end to the last race before the summer shutdown, Nasr was pleased with the progress made by Sauber which has just been bought out by new owners planning an injection of case into the team int he coming months.
“We managed to collect a lot of information on how to come back, after the holidays, and fight for those elusive points,” he explained. “Some bright lights that gave a more defined outline to our dreams.”
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