Nasr understands Sauber’s decision to race year-old engines

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Felipe Nasr says he is “quite OK” with Sauber’s decision to race year-old Ferrari engines during the 2017 Formula One season, as the Brazilian feels “there’s more to gain” from the chassis.

Team principal Monisha Kaltenborn confirmed in Suzuka that the Swiss team will use the latest spec of the 2016 power unit from Maranello next year.

Despite fresh investment from Longbow Finance over the summer, Sauber has elected to stick to an engine it is familiar with in order to make greater strides on the chassis front. With radical bodywork changes planned for 2017, Nasr understands the stance.

“I knew they were more focused on the chassis side as that is where we are lacking the most, the platform itself of the car,” the 24-year-old said. “I knew it from the beginning. I feel there is more to gain as well.

“Putting things on the table as I said as a team, they really saw how much we can gain on the engine, how much we can gain on the chassis.

“I think there is more, if we can really focus on the aero of the car, getting a better braking performance, better traction, better corner stabilisation, there is so much more we can explore in the car. I’m quite OK with the decision.”

Although his name has been linked with a move to Williams, Nasr says Sauber’s new owners and recent influx of high-profile recruits makes the Hinwill-based outfit an enticing prospect for 2017.

“I see this team on the way up and I see a lot of positives happening, a lot of good people have come on board and they are looking for more to the end of the year.

“It has really taken a step up here. I see the team forming a structure behind and in terms of development it will be totally different to this year the way we have the car and performance.”

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