Felipe Nasr wants chance to improve F1 qualifying pace in 2017

Felipe Nasr has identified his qualifying pace as the main area he would like to improve on should he secure a place on the 2017 Formula 1 grid

Felipe Nasr wants chance to improve F1 qualifying pace in 2017

The Brazilian scored Sauber's only points of the season with ninth at Interlagos, a result that moved the F1 team above Manor in the constructors' championship to ensure a windfall of around $13.5million.

However, his hopes took a blow when he lost his primary personal sponsor Banco do Brasil last month and though talks with Sauber continue, he remains behind Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto on the team's shortlist.

Nico Rosberg's shock retirement has created another potential lifeline, as if Mercedes successfully lures Valtteri Bottas away from Williams, Nasr could be in contention for that seat, having been a reserve there in 2014.

Nasr has said he believes his performances during two seasons in F1 with Sauber warrant a seat on the grid next year.

"Qualifying is still an area that I want to keep building up," he told Autosport.

When asked if there was anything specific he planned to focus on, he said: "It's tricky because there were times that we had issues with for example, tyre blankets.

"In Singapore, we had a decent run over the weekend and when we came to qualifying we had an issue with the blankets.

"It did happen in a few occasions but other occasions as well [there were difficulties] in terms of getting the right car balance.

"Responding to changing track temperatures and the track evolution as well so it's something that I feel can still be improved."

While lacking in qualifying, Nasr said he felt his form in race trim was strong as he was able to make the most of a package that was hurt by a lack of development because of financial problems early in the year.

"I stood on top of my game in the races," he said.

"I felt like there were quite a few opportunities this year where I could've scored points like the race in Austria, where we were running at a decent position to score points before the safety car came in.

"Baku was new track for everybody and we were able to get a pretty close run to the top 10 as well.

"There were races like Silverstone where we had a good pace on the wets.

"And Brazil of course, I have to highlight as one of the best races I've done so far in Formula 1 - if not my best until now - in pretty tough conditions for everybody.

"It was very tricky rain conditions, like driving on ice and you couldn't put a wheel wrong or you could've been out of the race."

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