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Brazil’s Felipe Nasr has joined a list of Brazilians including Emerson Fittipaldi, Nélson Piquet, Ayrton Senna and Rubens Barrichello by becoming 2011 British Formula 3 Champion. The title was celebrated after Sunday’s third race at Rockingham, which was won by Dane Kevin Magnussen.
A delightful afternoon for 19-year-old Nasr – who has dominated this year’s championship – almost ended in disaster before the race began. After a heavy rain shower, the Carlin driver spun on the reconnaissance lap heading to the grid but was able to keep the engine running, later finishing third behind compatriot Pietro Fantin.
At the front, the leading Carlin car of Magnussen was never headed from pole position, notwithstanding two Safety Car periods and the fact that Hitech’s Fantin continued to piled the pressure and was just six tenths of a second behind when the chequered flag flew in Northamptonshire.
“It was a tough race,” said the winner. “There were two Safety Cars and I had pressure from Pietro all the race; he did a good job keeping me under pressure. It was all about not making any mistakes.”
The result sees Magnussen move up to second in the championship, with fourth-placed Will Buller now third overall after Carlos Huertas failed to finish. All attention was with Nasr, who becomes the twelfth Brazilian Champion in the history of the British Formula 3 International Series.
“It’s great,” he commented. “I still don’t quite get what it means. This feels like the end of a normal race for me and yet I feel very happy! Grabbing the title early on here is just amazing. It’s been a lot of work, a lot of dedication from the team and it’s very special. I know that many big names came from British Formula 3 and I am sure that I have done this step really well and now things are just going to get better for me.
“I think the best moment of the year for me was Monza, when I won two races - I will never forget that weekend, it was the best feeling ever. Now I will be taking risks and going for the wins.”
Following in the footsteps of Jaime Alguersuari, Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne, Nasr is the fourth consecutive title winner for the Carlin outfit.
GPUpdate's One 2 Watch with Champion Felipe Nasr
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