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GP Week : Issue 216
Reversal of fortune What a reversal in fortunes the Australian Grand Prix proved to be for sauber. From the threat of having its assets seized on Friday to double points finishers on sunday afternoon, led home by the impressive debut of 'Driver of the Day' Felipe Nasr, it marked a return to form for a team which struggled through 2014. Nasr, who was making his Formula One race debut, qualified just outside the top 10 before racing his way to a strong fifth place. It was the best performance by any sauber debutant in the teams history, eclipsing even Kimi raikkonen who finished sixth at the same race in 2001. A glimpse of Nasr's racecraft and hunger was given when he caught Carlos sainz napping at the restart following the early safety car. Close up behind the Toro rosso, the Brazilian timed his move perfectly to move ahead with ease before driving a strong and importantly error free race. In doing so he held off Daniel ricciardo and raikkonen on merit for long periods. It was a composed, mature performance from a driver of whom little was expected. Nasr's efforts were backed by Marcus ericsson in the sister car, the swedish driver taking eighth at the flag to record his first points in Formula One. ericsson was some way off the pace of Nasr throughout the race, the former Caterham driver a full pitstop behind by the time Nasr took service, but he still maximised the opportunity and scored points when they were on offer. For a team that failed to score a single point in 2014, the worst season in its history, a double points finish in Australia sees the team third in the constructors championship. Monisha Kaltenborn must think all her Christmases, easters and New Years have all come at once. 19 GPWEEK.com // 19 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> AUSTRALIA PARTNERS: