Williams announced the appointment of Brazilian Felipe Nasr to the position of Test and Reserve Driver for the 2014 season today and said that the role would see Felipe at all Grands Prix during the 2014 season as well as taking the wheel of the Williams Mercedes FW36 in three tests and five FP1 sessions. This will be combined with factory based work in the team’s simulator to support the continued development of the team’s cars.
Felipe began karting in Brazil at the age of seven and won several titles before making his open wheel racing debut in 2008 in the final round of the Formula BMW Americas season. For 2009 he moved to Europe and competed in the Formula BMW Championship, claiming the title in his first season with seven wins in 16 starts. In 2010 and 2011 he competed in the British Formula Three Championship, finishing in 5th position in his first year and claiming the title in 2011 after securing seven wins. 2012 saw Felipe move to the GP2 Championship with DAMS where he finished the championship as the second highest placed rookie and in tenth place overall. That year he also competed in the Daytona 24 Hour, finishing third overall with Michael Shanks Racing. For 2013 Felipe joined Carlin Motorsport, finishing in 4th place in the GP2 Championship.
Commenting on his new role Felipe Nasr said:
“I’m really happy to be joining the Williams family. They have a great history in the sport and some of the greatest Brazilian drivers of all time have driven for the team, so it’s an honour to join names such as Piquet, Senna and Massa. This is a fantastic opportunity for me to make the next step in my career and I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of a Formula One car for the first time in Bahrain.”
Williams Founder and Team Principal Sir Frank Williams added;
“Felipe has a strong track record of success in his career so far and we have been watching him closely for a while. We have a track record at Williams of bringing through new talent and giving them a chance to show what they can do on the world’s biggest stage. By driving in five FP1 sessions this season, Felipe will have the perfect chance to showcase his skills and I’m confident he will be a strong addition to our driver roster.”
Williams also announced a new sponsorship deal with Banco do Brasil, Brazil’s largest financial institution.
The Banco do Brasil logo will appear on the engine cover of the Williams Mercedes FW36, the overalls worn by each driver, and the kit worn by team personnel during the 2014 FIA Formula One World Championship season.
Speaking about the new partnership Sir Frank Williams, Founder and Team Principal of Williams, added;
“We have had a long and proud association with Brazil through our relationship with Brazilian drivers and some of the country’s leading companies. This new partnership with Banco do Brasil continues this legacy and we both share a proud history with ambitions to achieve greater things in the future. This partnership will help both of our companies achieve those goals and we look forward to working closely with them this season.”
Williams has certainly placed their Brazilian relationships at the forefront with the signing of former Ferrari driver Felipe Massa for 2014 as well as Nasr and last week announced a deal with Petrobras as well.