It might have taken forty-four races to get there, but Felipe Nasr finally took his first GP2 Series win in Spain at the weekend. The Williams F1 reserve driver took the chequered flag in the Sunday Sprint race, and the relief of that breakthrough win was evident on the young Brazilian’s face.
After making the podium during the feature race on Saturday, Carlin driver Nasr would start sixth on the grid in the sprint race, but an excellent start saw him running in second by the end of the lap. A great move on leader Tom Dillmann of Arden International on lap two saw the Brazilian take the lead, and despite the best efforts of Championship leader Jolyon Palmer, Nasr led until the end and took the victory.
“The start of the race was great for me,” said a happy Nasr. “I knew it was all going to be done at the start, the track was damp and I was just concentrating on getting temperature into the tyres. I passed several drivers into turn one and then it was all about getting the lead.
“I knew that if we got the lead we could control the pace and try and maintain the tyres. The team really deserve this. It hasn’t been about performance, the pace was always there but today it all came together. It means a lot to me and the team.”
It was also a strong Saturday Feature race for Nasr and for Carlin, with Nasr and team-mate Julian Leal finishing third and fourth. Nasr pressured DAMS driver Palmer for second but the Briton did not make any mistakes to enable the Brazilian to pass him and chase after eventual race winner Johnny Cecotto Jr of Trident Racing.
“I had a good start and I knew that we had the pace to stay in contention,” said Nasr on Saturday. “The race pace was good and it was pretty close throughout the race. We didn’t have the pace to challenge Cecotto at the end, but I think we could have got Palmer with a couple more laps. It is important to keep getting these points though.”