Nasr: Ocon clash compromised prospects
28 November 2016 – Sauber's Felipe Nasr rued a clash with Manor rival Esteban Ocon, which he felt compromised his chances of achieving a strong result at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Nasr started from 19th position at the Yas Marina Circuit but gained five places on the opening lap and held the spot until he tangled with Ocon through the Turn 11/12/13 complex.
The contact forced the Brazilian to alter his strategy, coming in early for his second stop, and he crossed the line in 16th, ahead of only Jolyon Palmer.
"In the middle stint we were looking OK, just making sure to keep the Manors behind us, but unfortunately there was contact between one Manor and myself," he said.
"The floor as well as the rim were damaged, and we also thought that the front wing was damaged, which forced me to come in for an earlier pit-stop than originally planned.
"The race was compromised by then. If this incident hadn't happened, we could have finished a bit higher up in the rankings."
Nasr's future at Sauber remains uncertain, amid the changes to his Banco do Brasil backing, but he was nonetheless upbeat to have secured 10th position in the standings for the outfit.
"Most important was to guarantee our 10th position in the Constructors' Championship," he said.
"I am happy that we confirmed this position in the end.
"It was a challenging and difficult season, but I think these are the times when we learn the most.
"My relationship with everyone in the team was strong while facing challenging times throughout the season."